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The Girls

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  161 ratings  ·  32 reviews
'An astounding new voice whose work mines the slippery regions between grief, sex, love, parents and children. This book is a rare find.' FELICITY CASTAGNA

'A tender and heartfelt book, exploring the intricacies and long aftermath of trauma and grief with great frankness and directness. Its honest and exacting exploration of what happens to the body and the self in grief i
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Picador Australia
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  161 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Carly Findlay
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read an excerpt of The Girls in The Age last weekend and immediately downloaded the audiobook. Unfortunately it wasn’t available for a few days, but when it reached my Audible account, I devoured it. I was not disappointed.

This was a book about grief, relationships with parents, drug use and sex work. It’s also about memory, and how grief can play with memory. It detailed the aftermath of a tragic accident, where Chloe Higgins’ two younger sisters died in a car accident - her father was drivi
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

4.5 stars

Grief is such a universal fact of life, but how we express and deal with it is very personalised. The Girls is an exploration of the individualised act of grief, in the face of a catastrophic event. The Girls utterly consumed me. I was struck by the pure honesty, fearlessness and poetic justice author Chloe Higgins conveys through her first book. Even if you haven’t been touched by an episode of loss o
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
“And how hard will my mother’s heart break when people report back the things I have said about her?” (p294) — Chloe shares her concern but she need not worry. Chloe’s account is candid but her mother comes across as a shining light of strength. This was a turbulent read for me but the person I empathise and identify with the most is Chloe’s mother.

Chloe’s mother’s diary entries on their trip to New York made me laugh (I too am geographically challenged). They show a strength of character; to m
Ruby Bisson
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sometimes you devour the pages of a book and think, “what a nice story”. After reading The Girls, I felt like I had devoured Higgins’ soul. Don’t read this book on a train, unless you’re comfortable sobbing. A powerful first book that made me reflect on those complex, tumultuous and beautiful relationships we have with parents and lovers.
Candace Chidiac
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I spent the first 50 pages of this book bawling my eyes out, thinking of my own siblings, sending them all ‘I love you’ texts to try and ease my sense of panic. One replied asking how much red wine I had had to drink, but the rest replied with a simple ‘love you too’. I realised I needed to get a grip if I was going to get through the rest of the book (you may have a different experience - I’m very dramatic and cry at everything), so I settled into the rest of the story, barely able to put it do ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Girls is a raw, honest memoir from Australian writer, Chloe Higgins. I had the privilege of meeting Chloe recently and to hear her account of life after death added greater depth to her book. In 2015, Chloe’s two younger sisters, Carlie and Lisa, died in a horrific car accident. Chloe explores a myriad of themes that include grief, self-forgiveness, moving on, drugs, sex, family dynamics and self-discovery as she takes her readers on an unforgettable journey.

Chloe’s was just seve
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
How painful it was to read through this book and how relatable it was to me in aspects of falling into a strained relationship with one's parents after a death/trauma/ordeal. Chloe adopting various coping mechanisms to shift the shock and depression elsewhere was a sad yet enduring tale; this story didn't hesitate in depicting her grief and afterwards healing in the most intense manner I've yet to encounter.
Emily Maree
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't really want to critique a memoir about a women who lost her two sisters in a car accident, when she was only a teenager. But i'll just say that this was definitely a raw and honest story about how she dealt with the grief and the many years to come of her spiraling into bad habits and dealing with the trauma.

I am so very close with my siblings, so I can not even begin to imagine the sadness and shock Chloe and her parents will be experiencing for the rest of their lives.

Nicki Markus
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-non-fiction
I received a review copy of this book out of the blue, so even though it is not something I would normally pick up, I decided to give it a go. Given the nature of the book, it is, in some ways, difficult to review, but I will do my best to share my thoughts. From the point of view of the prose, it was very readable and generally well written. However, it simply never grabbed me and, at the risk of sounding callous, I didn't 'care'. While I will gladly read biographies of long-dead figures, memoi ...more
Patrick Harrison
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly brave writing, getting right to the heart of grief, self and family relationships.
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful brave authentic book. Her writing is clean and evocative. The content is honest and raw and heartbreaking and joyful. What a gift.
Jaclyn Crupi
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 I’ve read many grief memoirs but never have I felt as voyeuristic as when reading The Girls. I think it’s because Higgins structures the book by starting with her two sisters dying in a car accident so the only place she has to go is a mostly chronological account of how this tragedy derailed her life. The other thing, and this feels so harsh given how deeply personal the book is, is that it lacks the craft that make other grief memoirs works of art and not simply writing as therapy. Incredi ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have gotten to a point where I don’t really want to read about the grief, pain and the downward spiral of others anymore. This book helped me realised that. It started off well, but I just wasn’t interested in ‘the life that fell a part story’. Most people have shit happen and most of it is kind of boring. This book would probably help others going through similar experiences though.

I did like Chloe’s style of writing and I will look out for future books.
sian peake
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a confronting and raw memoir but Higgin’s honesty is refreshing. I found myself questioning if I could ever tell my own stories so honestly, reassuring myself that I would not. But I genuinely think that this unapologetic reflection on the authors life, where nothing is off limits, will be the start of a very successful career for Chloe. I look forward to reading her next release.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Breanna Jayne
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The honesty of this book is so refreshing. I am a psychologist and Chloe sharing her grief story will help so many in their own journey.

I couldn’t put this book down and wanted to take days off work to finish it but couldn’t.

Highly recommend everyone read this. You don’t need to have experienced such traumatic grief to relate to some of the inner thoughts of Chloe! Well done!
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A powerful memoir made the more so by the author’s willingness to tell her story her way, including all the parts well meaning people told her to leave out or sugar coat. I was a mess by the end of it.
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
The linear structure of this book leaves nowhere to go except follow the author in a self-indulgent (albeit probably necessary for her) exploration of the aftermath of a family tragedy. The literary value of this book is scant. After just reading, The Shock of the Fall, and enjoying the slow reveal of the event of ‘the fall’, I was hugely disappointed with this book. I doubt Chloe Higgins has another book in her.
Jessica M
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it

The Girls by Chloe Higgins is a memoir about the death of Chloe’s two sisters in 2005, and the aftermath.

While Chloe was studying for her HSC at the family home in Western Sydney, her father and her two sisters were on their way from an annual trip to the snowfields. On a highway near Canberra, Chloe’s father veered off to the other side of the road — presumably falling asleep — and he hits another car. Their vehicle flips and the back of the car bursts into flames. Chloe’s two sisters
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
My rating reflects my acknowledgement of the bravery and brutal honesty of Higgins' memoir. A record of her relentless grief, depression and, ultimately, her hospitalisation in a psychiatric ward, portrayed the horror of her thirteen year "recovery" after the tragic car accident that had killed her two younger sisters. Her father had been the driver.

"There is a widespread assumption that the grieving process is somehow innate to us all. It seems to me that this is not the case. Just as we learn
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brutally raw and honest account of someone is able to deal with the unthinkable, pick up the pieces, and move on. Part grief memoir, part travelogue, put sexual exposé, part reflection on writing, the narrative moves fluidly backwards and forwards in time in a sense of dislocation between episodes and memories (as one might expect from such an experience), with figures unexpectedly interjecting into the text which, though odd at first, becomes a rather endearing device. The balance between the o ...more
Freddy Iryss
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Girls, the debut by Chloe Higgins, is one of the most gripping, heartfelt and insightful memoirs I’ve read about grief, life, sex, and the dynamic played out in grief between parents and children. Written in a beautiful, unadorned language, the book takes the reader on a journey from a point of personal and familial devastation to one where the healing can begin. It draws attention to how grief enters the body and takes over, for better or worse. It is a story about so many things, but it is ...more
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was hard to read at times. You know that nothing will bring back her sisters, or her parent’s daughters. And therefor this book will have no classic ‘happy ending’. But the book describes how they all learned to live with this fact in one way or the other. I really appreciated Chloe’s raw honesty and her writing style. I’m glad that she added a final chapter with memories about her sisters, as those weren’t brought up earlier in the book.
Julie Elder
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A heartbreaking memoir about how trauma and grief can impact a person and a family. Chloe Higgins writes with brutal honesty about what happens when she loses her younger sisters in a terrible accident. The writing is beautiful and confronting and connects to any of us who have lost a loved one in shocking circumstances.
Kate Fysh
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. Chloe Higgins writes with extraordinary courage and insight. She exposes the messy, complex lives that we live when we're confronted by sudden, overwhelming grief.
Her account is brilliant and challenging. Thank you for sharing your story with us.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Wow, thank you Chloe Higgins for writing this book. Beautifully written, thought provoking and honest. I struggled to put it down and cried through much of it. It is a must read for all.
Thank you Beauty and Lace and Pan McMillan Australia..
Actual rating 3.5/5.
Meanie McQuibble
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, compassionate account of the messiness of growing through grief.
Judy Hagerty
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written memoir, heart breaking and heart warming in equal measures..couldn't put it down.
Danni  ( Just 50 pages more )
Whilst I am sure is great, I actually found it very difficult to read and ended up putting it in my dnf pile.
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