Tag Archives: California

The Girls by Emma Cline

Published by Random house. Three-hundred and fifty-five pages.

 

botmjuly1606-720x793More than not bad for a debut novel. This New York Times best seller, alluring and electrifying, will send you rushing to Google to check out the facts behind the real Manson Murders.

The novel is roughly based on the Manson murders in L.A. in the late 60s. Pregnant American actress Sharon Tate was among those murdered by the disciples of a strange sect led by Charles Manson. In The Girls, the female followers of counter-culture commune leader Russell, murder an actress and her young son along with two others, at their home. It’s an attempt to get back at a famous singer. Most of these facts are revealed in the opening pages.

The lead-up to the event consumes the rest of the book. It’s a slow simmering pot of ideals and desires gone wrong. Cline’s writing is not always clear and I found myself re-reading several paragraphs to understand her meaning.

The protagonist is 12-year old Evie Boyd who’s under-supervised by her self-absorbed parents during a long summer. Languishing in boredom in the oppressive California heat, Evie, at odds with her only friend Connie, meets cult-follower Suzanne at a park. Evie imagines Suzanne, older and attractive, to be the embodiment of carefree and spirited youth that Evie so desperately craves to be.

The attraction is immediate and with nothing else to do, Evie seeks out Suzanne and boards a bus that will forever change her life.

The Girls does a decent job of laying out the circumstances in which an intelligent but lonely girl can get wrapped up into exploitation, while willfully neglecting the writing on the wall. Evie has plenty of opportunities to get out but the lure of what she considers acceptance and the attention of a charismatic older man, lead Evie down the proverbial garden path. Only, Evie’s is sprinkled with thorns and pestilence.

Get your teenage daughters to read The Girls. The perils of joining a gang are laid before them and the attraction of unrestricted freedom and charming older men slowly crumble.

Remarkable Restaurant Names

We’ve all been to memorable restaurants. Usually, it’s the food that sets the place apart but sometimes it’s the quirky, fun or original name that stays in our memory long after an unremarkable meal.

In my travels, I’ve stumbled upon some truly notable restaurant names. Two cities stand out in terms of the sheer number of remarkable names – Halifax, Nova Scotia and San Diego, California. One city is on the East Coast of Canada and the other on the West Coast of the States. They are worlds apart in climate, topography and culture but apparently not in naming restaurants!

In part one of Remarkable Restaurant Names; I’ve selected my most memorable restaurant and pub names in San Diego. They are: The Tispy Crow,  Bite Me, The Hopping Pig Gastropub, and Sogno di Vino (I dream of wine), which was also memorable for its fresh and local cuisine.  I passed on dining at the gastropub. Have you skipped a restaurant based on name alone?  Share the best and worst restaurant names you’ve seen on your travels!

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Awesome Bridges

Following up my awesome drives post, there are awesome bridges that add up to spectacular drives.

The most incredible drive I’ve made on a bridge is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. On a sunny day, the view is glorious. Second is the Bixby Bridge on Highway 1 in California. It’s short but it spans a craggy chasm on the edge of the ocean and on a windy and rainy day, it will steal your breath. Thankfully, it doesn’t swing.

Closer to home, the Confederation Bridge to P.E.I. has to be the most challenging bridge to drive and is nothing short of an engineering wonder. I haven’t driven that span yet but I have my sights set on it in 2016.

What are your favourite bridges?

Image from Shutterstock

Image from Shutterstock, Bixby Bridge

 

Thinglink image

Thinglink image, Golden Gate Bridge

Selfie on the bridge

Selfie on the bridge

Even in cloudy weather, the Golden gate Bridge is beautiful

Even in cloudy weather, the Golden Gate Bridge is beautiful

confederationbridge.com

confederationbridge.com