other book he gave me for Christmas so he thought it would be a fun pairing. I like reading books knowing absolutely nothing about the plot, so I didn't look up any information about the book before I started reading it. I thought it was going to be a book about girls understanding who they are and finding their place in the world. I didn't realize that would be happening in the context of the Charles Manson story.
This is the story of Evie Boyd, a 14-year old girl growing up in California in the summer of 1969. Her parents are divorced and she lives with her mom, who is trying to rediscover herself as she re-enters the dating world. Evie also fights with her childhood best friend. Without her mom or her best friend, Evie finds herself drawn to a group of girls she sees in the park. She ends up joining these girls (led by the beautiful Suzanne) to a ranch where they all live together. The ranch is led by Russell, the charismatic leader. Evie gets caught up in life on the ranch, slowly leaving her life at home behind her. Throughout the book we also hear from Evie as a grown woman, looking back at her time on the ranch, her fascination with Suzanne and her desire to have been part of that group.
The book uses the story of Charles Manson and fictionalizes it, looking at it through the eyes of Evie. What made these people do what they did? Why didn't Evie join them? What is in her (or in all of us) to keep that from happening? What was missing in Suzanne and the others that caused them to kill innocent people?
The book was deeply disturbing in parts, but still quite fascinating. It was an interesting look into this horrifying story. I probably wouldn't have read it if I had known ahead of time that it was about Charles Manson, but in the end I'm glad I did read it.