How serendipitous that I finished reading Emma Cline’s ‘The Girls’ on the same day that California Governor Jerry ‘Moonbeam’ Brown rejected parole for one of the original ‘girls’, Leslie Van Houten.
The novel is loosely based on Charlie Manson’s most fervid female followers and explores the lifelong guilt and self-imposed imprisonment of Evie, the main character who by chance meets ‘the girls’ one lazy summer afternoon and by luck avoids their fate one apocalyptic night.
Back in the late seventies I spent a lot of time at the Mars Hotel, hanging with ‘The Guys’. Jaz ruled over our core group of turned on/tuned in/dropped out wanderers and an ever changing cast of hangers-on and passers-through. Equal parts shyster, narcissist and carnival con man, Jaz could get just about anyone to do almost anything he asked. I’ve met a LOT of people in my life and to date none of them had that combination of magnetism and false messiah, which is one reason reading ‘The Girls’ resonated so deeply with me.
Have you read ‘The Girls’? I’d love to hear what you thought of the book…