Reviewed by Jennifer Chretien, Reference Librarian
Rating: 4 stars.
A middle aged Evie Boyd is a woman without an anchor. She is staying at the beach home of an ex-lover and finds herself reminiscing about her 14th summer when she found herself at odds with her parents and former best friend. During this summer, Evie finds herself so enthralled by a girl named Suzanne that she spends most of her summer at the commune known as "The Ranch". It is here, under the leadership of a captivating man named Russell, that Evie starts to get a sense of the dichtomy of both her power and powerlessness.
This book is one of the most talked about books this summer. Cline not so loosely bases the story on Charles Manson. She crafts it so well that it is easy to understand what would have driven Manson's girls to murder and how they would even willingly give up their lives to follow him in the first place. Cline deftly weaves a clever and fresh way to explore the almost cliche girl coming of age story. I would have rated this a 5 star book if the author did a better job fleshing out middle aged Evie, or left that part of the story out entirely. She does such a wonderful job allowing the reader to see the vulnerability and boredom teenaged Evie is experiencing that it does her a disservice to not extend the same courtesy to her older self.