Apocalypse Together: More Cautionary Tales of Communal Living for Fans of “The Girls”

Readers and reviewers—Booklist included—can’t stop talking about Emma Cline’sThe Girlsa 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.

arcadiaArcadia, 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.




Blithedale RomanceThe 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 CityDrop City, by TC Boyle

A fractured California commune regroups in Alaska.





Eggshell DaysEggshell 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.


ParadiseParadise, 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 NovelS: 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.

WildWild Abandon 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.







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About the Author:

Karen Kleckner Keefe is the director of the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, a Booklist reviewer, and one of Library Journal's 2009 "Movers and Shakers." Follow her on Twitter at @KarenKleckner.

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