Evie Boyd seems like a normal middleaged woman, but she has a secret past. When a friend’s son and girlfriend come for a visit they lead her to revisit her past. At fourteen, she ended up at The Ranch, a place run by charismatic leader Russell (modeled after Charles Manson) but mainly falls in with Suzanne, Russell’s main confidant. Much like a puppy dog, Evie follows and obeys all of Suzanne’s wishes – most of which she probably gets from Russell. Between flashbacks and present time we learn that Evie did not participate in the gruesome acts that made their “cult” well known, although she did come close.
I was really looking forward to reading this book as I had read nothing but good reviews. After finishing it I was mildly disappointed. Yes, I liked the book well enough but I feel like something was missing. For as invested in The Ranch as Evie felt, I didn’t get the same feeling. I wanted more about her time there. Also I found the ending to be lacking. It almost seemed to end in the middle of a thought. I flipped around looking for more but there was nothing. Ms. Cline writes well, really making you feel the 1960’s time period and I found Evie to be an engaging narrator. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars. There is sex, drugs, and some violence mentioned so I would only recommend this book to older readers.