It was the summer of 1969, and for Evie Boyd, it was the kind of summer that stands on the edge of something. Lonely and longing, Evie resents the slow pace of life in her sleepy Northern California town. Until she meets Suzanne – free and unrestrained, and even a bit dangerous.
Evie soon finds herself caught up life on the ranch – a place where you seem free to accept and be accepted. As she becomes more entwined with Suzanne and the group’s charismatic leader Russell, her desperation for approval and independence grows stronger – never realizing the dangerous turn her life just might take if she lets it.
Loosely based on the horrific Manson murders, this book isn’t just about a girl falling into a cult – it’s about growing up, and the intricate, intense, and often consuming power of female friendships.
Wonderfully written, with sharp insight and lyrical prose, Cline recreates the feeling of yearning for meaning that seems to go hand in hand with adolescence. Told from the perspectives of teenage and adult Evie, the story thrums with longing and foreboding alike – it’s the kind of book that is difficult to put down, and is sure to linger long after you finish the last page. Recommended for anyone looking for a visceral, engrossing read.