cover image The Girls

The Girls

Emma Cline, read by Cady McClain. Random House Audio, , unabridged, 8 CDs, 10 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-0-14-752399-0

This compelling and thought-provoking novel seeks to understand what might have motivated the young people who joined Charles Manson’s murderous cult in the 1960s, and how they were drawn under his spell. In this fictional account, middle-aged Evie looks back on the life-changing summer when she was 14, upset at her parents’ divorce, and feeling neglected and insecure. Enter Suzanne, a wild and mesmerizing older girl who draws Evie into the hippie commune/cult led by charismatic and fanatical Russell Hadrick. Reader McClain is phenomenal, evoking the older Evie’s mature retrospection and struggle to analyze her own emotional state and the motivations of that tumultuous time, as well as the younger Evie’s yearning for acceptance and love and adventure. McClain also creates authentic, memorable voices for the other characters, including the lazy drawl of Suzanne and the seductive madness of Russell. A perfect marriage of text and narrator, this is the kind of audiobook that stays in your mind long after it’s finished. A Random House hardcover. (June)