Readers and reviewers—Booklist included—can’t stop talking about Emma Cline’sThe Girls, a novel in which California teenager Evie Boyd gets pulled into the exotic world of a Mansonesque musician whose groupies will do anything for him. For more fascinating takes on isolation and indoctrination, introduce your readers to these thought-provoking titles.
Arcadia, by Lauren Groff
Bit Stone is born in the late 1960s on Arcadia, an upstate New York commune where he lives until things come crashing down in 2018.
The Blithedale Romance, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Mid-19th-century utopians learn you can take the people out of society, but you can’t take the society out of the people.
Drop City, by TC Boyle
A fractured California commune regroups in Alaska.
Eggshell Days, by Rebecca Gregson
A group of friends renovate a Cornwall estate and find it increasingly difficult to live by their manifesto for simple living.
Paradise, by Toni Morrison
Four young women who have chosen to create new lives for themselves in an abandoned convent near an all-black Oklahoma town are viciously attacked by their neighbors.
S: A Novel, by John Updike
Sarah P. Worth finds it hard to leave her New England life completely behind her when she joins an Arizona ashram.
Wild Abandon, by Joe Dunthorne
The controlling founder of a natural living commune is driving community members out, his own daughter left for college, and now his wife is thinking of following suit.