i wish i could put into words how incredible this book is and how intensely it resonated with me. though i finished it weeks ago, it is still on my mind. spoiler alerts here!
isn’t it amazing that there could be anything appealing about the ranch? but maybe it’s exactly what evie describes – the indiscriminate love that they all feel for each other, the easy way they hold hands and fall into step with each other. it’s what i love about my own friends. the easy affection we feel, the ability to show it. a place of friendship that feels like family.
i have always been intrigued by cults, and most specifically, the manson family. intrigued in that eery way you can’t look away from a car crash or a scary movie. you want to, but you can’t. isn’t there something compelling about these groups of people that so intensely belong to one cause, to each other? of course i’m glorifying it, which i don’t want to. but i guess what is interesting to me are the groups before the catastrophe. in this case, the summer before the murders.
i have to be honest that so much of the ranch is familiar to me. it is comfortable. it is in many ways what i experience at the places my friends live. messy, sandy, dingy, but cozy and loving and familiar. no one has anyone but each other, and with each other they have it all.
i relate to evie. the way she belongs to the group, yet has that background – the kushy life, the (at one time) warm memories, the purse always open. she condemns this, as i once did. she sees her existence as weak, compared to the struggles and intense freedoms of the group. i am attracted to people that lead very different lives than myself. who’s home life has not been as wonderful and safe as my own. who truly can do whatever they want. as i’ve gotten older, i am able to unite these two sides of myself. i no longer condemn myself for leading a very charmed life.
i know where i come from, i know what i want, and i am molded by the people i surround myself with, both my family and my friends. it is okay to unite these very separate but equal (in importance and lessons) parts of my life. my upbringing is what gives my strength, my confidence, my depth. i certainly wished at one point that i was more like my friends, that i could leave my family for months on end and follow my wanderlust, surviving on nothing and making memories along the way. i am figuring out how to be both people. the girl who is devoted to her family, taking care of them and giving her whole self to them. but also the girl that longs for more. my time for exploration will come. it will find me.
// my image, please credit if taking.