The Girls: A Novel

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THE INSTANT BESTSELLER • An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post • NPR • The Guardian • Entertainment Weekly • San Francisco Chronicle • Financial Times • Esquire • Newsweek • Vogue • Glamour • People • The Huffington Post • Elle • Harper’s Bazaar • Time Out • BookPage • Publishers Weekly • Slate

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award • Shortlisted for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize • The New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice • Emma Cline—One of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists

Praise for The Girls

“Spellbinding . . . a seductive and arresting coming-of-age story.”The New York Times Book Review

“Extraordinary . . . Debut novels like this are rare, indeed.”The Washington Post

“Hypnotic.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Gorgeous.”—Los Angeles Times

“Savage.”—The Guardian

“Astonishing.”—The Boston Globe

“Superbly written.”—James Wood, The New Yorker

“Intensely consuming.”—Richard Ford

“A spectacular achievement.”—Lucy Atkins, The Times

“Thrilling.”—Jennifer Egan

“Compelling and startling.”—The Economist
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About the author

Emma Cline was the winner of The Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize in 2014. She is from California.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Jun 14, 2016
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780812998610
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Psychological
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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When this relentless rogue FBI agent comes knocking, her adversaries will have to answer—with their lives—in the latest thrilling Jane Hawk novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Corner.

“Jane Hawk is arguably the best character Koontz has created.”—Associated Press

“We’re rewriting the play, and the play is this country, the world, the future. We break Jane’s heart, we’ll also break her will.”
 
She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stands between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed, but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills—and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice—Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal.

But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her running to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden . . . for now. As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain-altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives—against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door.

Don’t miss any of Dean Koontz’s gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:
THE SILENT CORNER • THE WHISPERING ROOM • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW (Coming Soon!)
THE FIRST NOVEL IN THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING JANE HAWK SERIES
 
Meet Jane Hawk—a remarkable new heroine certain to become an icon of suspense. “This gripping thriller grabs readers from the first few pages and sweeps them along to the rousing finale.”—Booklist

“I very much need to be dead.”

These are the chilling words left behind by a man who had everything to live for—but took his own life. In the aftermath, his widow, Jane Hawk, does what all her grief, fear, and fury demand: find the truth, no matter what.

People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important—so terrifying—that they will exterminate anyone in their way.

But all their power and viciousness may not be enough to stop a woman as clever as they are cold-blooded, as relentless as they are ruthless—and who is driven by a righteous rage they can never comprehend. Because it is born of love.

Don’t miss any of Dean Koontz’s gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:
THE SILENT CORNER • THE WHISPERING ROOM • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW (Coming Soon!)

Praise for The Silent Corner

“Gripping . . . The paranoia and mystery increase as the story unfolds. . . . Koontz has created [a] wonderful character in Jane Hawk. . . . Koontz rocks it again.”—Associated Press
 
“In this era of stingy text-message prose, Mr. Koontz is practically Shakespeare. . . . The Silent Corner brims with both action and emotion.”—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
“The Silent Corner is vintage Dean Koontz: paranoia-fueled suspense . . . sleek and highly realized action, developed characters, and more twists and turns than any two ordinary novels combined. . . . As relevant to current events as it is audacious . . . amongst Dean Koontz’s finest contemporary work.”—Mystery Scene
 
“A proven specialist in action scenes, Koontz pulls off some doozies here. . . . The book is full of neat touches. . . . And the prose, as always in a Koontz novel, is first-rate. Perhaps Koontz’s leanest, meanest thriller, this initial entry in a new series introduces a smart, appealing heroine who can outthink as well as outshoot the baddest of bad dudes.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Jane Hawk—fiction’s most relentless, resourceful, stunning new heroine—continues her battle against a murderous conspiracy in the riveting sequel to The Silent Corner.

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.”

These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better.

In the wake of her husband’s inexplicable suicide—and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals—Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America’s future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue—and become the nation’s most wanted fugitive—in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough.

Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.

Don’t miss any of Dean Koontz’s gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:
THE SILENT CORNER • THE WHISPERING ROOM • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW (Coming Soon!)

Praise for The Whispering Room

“Koontz has never exactly shied away from complex characters or situations. And this situation gets very complex indeed, as Jane pursues the people behind the conspiracy with the kind of single-minded relentlessness that makes the book absolutely spellbinding. As good as The Silent Corner was, this one’s even better. . . . Koontz is on another roll with a new series that boasts a juicy premise and a compelling star. . . . Pure gold.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“A deeply layered, satisfying thriller that is character-driven and nearly impossible to put down . . . grounded in many real-world, current issues . . . [The Whispering Room] never loses sight of the classic political/sci-fi/thriller elements that make it so much fun to read.”—Bookreporter
California. Verano de 1969. Evie, una adolescente insegura y solitaria a punto de adentrarse en el incierto mundo de los adultos, se fija en un grupo de chicas en un parque: visten de un modo descuidado, van descalzas y parecen vivir felices y despreocupadas, al margen de las normas. Días después, un encuentro fortuito propiciará que una de esas chicas ?Suzanne, unos años mayor que ella? la invite a acompañarlas. Viven en un rancho solitario y forman parte de una comuna que gira alrededor de Russell, músico frustrado, carismático, manipulador, líder, gurú. Fascinada y perpleja, Evie se sumerge en una espiral de drogas psicodélicas y amor libre, de manipulación mental y sexual, que le hará perder el contacto con su familia y con el mundo exterior. Y la deriva de esa comuna que deviene secta dominada por una creciente paranoia desembocará en un acto de violencia bestial, extremo? Esta novela es obra de una debutante que, dada su juventud, ha dejado boquiabierta a la crítica por la inusitada madurez con la que cincela la compleja psicología de sus personajes. Emma Cline construye un retrato excepcional de la fragilidad adolescente y del tormentoso proceso de hacerse adulto. También aborda el tema de la culpa y las decisiones que nos marcarán toda la vida. Y recrea aquellos años de paz y amor, de idealismo hippie, en los que germinaba un lado oscuro, muy oscuro. La autora se inspira libremente en un episodio célebre de la crónica negra americana: la matanza perpetrada por Charles Manson y su clan. Pero lo que le interesa no es la figura del psicópata demoniaco, sino algo mucho más perturbador: aquellas chicas angelicales que cometieron un crimen atroz y sin embargo durante el juicio no perdían la sonrisa? Sobre ellas ?¿qué les llevó a traspasar los límites?, ¿cuáles fueron las consecuencias de unos actos que las perseguirán siempre?? versa esta novela que deslumbra e inquieta.
Califòrnia. Estiu de 1969. L’Evie, una adolescent a punt d’endinsar-se en l’incert món dels adults, es fixa en un grup de noies en un parc: vesteixen de manera descuidada, van descalces i semblen viure felices i despreocupades, al marge de les normes. Al cap d’uns dies, una trobada fortuïta propiciarà que una de les noies –la Suzanne, una mica més gran que l’Evie– la convidi a acompanyar-les. Viuen en un ranxo solitari i formen part d’una comuna que gira al voltant d’en Russell, músic frustrat, líder, guru. Fascinada, l’Evie es deixa anar en una espiral de drogues psicodèliques i amor lliure, de manipulació mental i sexual, que farà que perdi el contacte amb la família i amb el món exterior. I la deriva d’aquest grup que esdevé secta dominada per una paranoia creixent desembocarà en un acte extrem de violència... La debutant Emma Cline construeix un retrat excepcionalment madur de la fragilitat adolescent i del tempestuós procés de fer-se adult. També aborda el tema de la culpa i les decisions que ens marquen la vida. I recrea aquells anys de pau i amor, d’idealisme hippie, en què també germinava una cara fosca, molt fosca. L’autora s’inspira lliurement en un episodi cèlebre de la crònica negra americana: la matança perpetrada per Charles Manson i el seu clan. Però no se centra en la figura del psicòpata, sinó en unes altres protagonistes: les noies que van contribuir a perpetrar un crim atroç i que no van perdre el somriure durant el judici. D’elles tracta aquesta novel·la enlluernadora i inquietant.
No final da década de 1960, a jovem Evie Boyd vive sozinha com a mãe no norte da Califórnia. Aos quatorze anos, imersa em inúmeras questões de autoaceitação, ela se sente muito desconfortável com o próprio corpo e tem apenas uma pessoa com quem contar: Connie, sua amiga de infância. No início do verão, uma briga faz com que as duas se afastem, e Evie encontra um novo grupo: garotas que demonstram extrema liberdade, usam roupas desleixadas e emanam uma atmosfera de abandono que a deixa fascinada. A jovem logo percebe que já está sob o poder e o domínio de Suzanne, a mais velha do grupo, e acaba entrando em um culto sombrio, liderado pelo carismático Russell Hadrick.

O rancho do grupo é um lugar estranho e decadente, mas, aos olhos da adolescente, parece exótico, com uma energia singular. Evie descobre que as garotas cozinham, limpam e prestam até mesmo serviços sexuais para Russell, que proclama um desejo de libertar as pessoas do sistema. Evie quer apenas ser aceita pelos outros integrantes, principalmente por Suzanne. É sua chance de se sentir amada e pertencente a algo. Conforme sua obsessão por Suzanne se intensifica, ela não percebe que se aproxima de uma violência inacreditável. Contada por Evie já adulta e ainda abalada, a narrativa é um impressionante retrato de garotas que se tornam mulheres.

Denso e de ritmo surpreendente, o romance de estreia de Emma Cline é escrito com precisão e perspicácia ao construir os perfis psicológicos dos personagens. As garotas aborda mais que uma noite de violência – é sobretudo um relato do mal que causamos a nós mesmos e aos outros na ânsia por pertencimento e aceitação. 

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