Book Review: The Roanoke Girls
Title: The Roanoke Girls
Author: Amy Engel
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Quote: “Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end we either run or we die”
After her mother’s suicide, Lane Roanoke is sent to live with her grandparents, and cousin Allegra. Even though she knew very little about her mother’s family, Lane quickly embraces life as a rich and beautiful Roanoke girl. But when she discovers the dark and haunting secrets that live at Roanoke house, she quickly flees, taking her own secret with her.
Fast forward 11 years, and Lane is compelled to return, because Allegra has gone missing. Fueled by guilt for leaving her behind she makes it her mission to find out what happened to her. Her homecoming may give her a second chance with the boyfriend who’s heart she broke, but will she be able to escape the devastating secrets, that made her flee the first time.
Told from Lane’s somewhat bitchy point of view (though honestly she does have some valid reasons to be) the story goes back and forth between now and the summer she spent at Roanoke when she was 16. Added in throughout are some chapters told from the viewpoint of other Roanoke girls, which managed to give some more back ground of the family and helped in the development of the book. It’s the first foray into adult fiction for this former YA author, she managed to pull it off beautifully. Handling the unsettling subject matter, with care and without over sensationalizing the events. Which in my opinion makes the reader feel a mix of curiosity and slight admiration for these girls, all while wondering, what in the actual hell, why are they still there, why do they let things continue. The loss of mothers and a charismatic charmer, I suppose, coupled with the need/want to feel special and loved, made it impossible for these girls to know what real love is. Having escaped once, the reader is left wanting, almost begging Lane to get out of there again, at the same time wanting her to give that old boyfriend another chance. Lane stays on, her overwhelming quilt at having left her cousin Allegra behind, Lane feels that finding out what happened to her, is how she can make amends. The ending may have been bittersweet, but, this is a story that will stay with me for a while.
Thriller’s are generally low on my TBR list, but I am glad I picked this one up. Because, even though most of us could probably guess the who, what and why. It still managed to be a riveting tale,of sick family dysfunction, twisted love, greed and loss.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book via Blogging for Books, Crown publishing an imprint of Penguin Random House. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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