Sick. Disturbing. Just a couple of words I would use to describe this book.
After her mother’s suicide, fifteen-year-old Lane Roanoke goes to live with her grandparents and cousin, Allegra, in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s family except that she seemed to hate them. However, Lane quickly embraces life as a Roanoke girl. But when she begins to understand her mother’s hatred of her family, she runs. Eleven years later, Lane returns to Kansas when she learns that Allegra has gone missing. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with an old boyfriend, but it also means facing the secret that made her flee all those years ago.
Those words I mentioned above? They circled around and around in my mind after finishing this book. But don’t let these words sway you from reading The Roanoke Girls. That is not my intention. They were simply the words that best described my feelings about what happened in this story. When I first began the book I had an inkling of what was happening. When the plot I suspected was confirmed, my stomach churned. But I couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know if the Roanoke girls survived the hand they had been dealt.
Lane tells most of the story, alternating between the past and present. However, you are given a deeper look into the horrors of the household by hearing from the other Roanoke Girls. This wasn’t an easy book to read. It broke my heart. It spoke to me about how we let some people get in our heads and control us. It was heartbreaking, simply heartbreaking. Until Lane. She ends it and brings the story of the Roanoke Girls to a satisfying conclusion.
Read this book, but don’t go into it thinking it will be a cozy, afternoon read. Be prepared to feel an assortment of emotions. Be prepared to cheer for the good guy to win. Be prepared.
I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.
Rating: 4 stars
Title: The Roanoke Girls
Author: Amy Engel
Release Date: March 7, 2017