Thursday 28 December 2017

The Roanoke Girls - Amy Engel


The girls of the Roanoke family - beautiful, rich, mysterious - seem to have it all. But there's a dark truth about them that's never spoken. Either the girls run away... or they die.

Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long, hot summer at her grandparents' estate in rural Kansas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke girl. Lane ran, far and fast. Until eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing - and Lane has no choice but to go back.

She is a Roanoke girl.

Is she strong enough to escape a second time?

What did I think?

I was aware before I read The Roanoke Girls that it may be an uncomfortable read, and it was but not to the degree that I expected; perhaps I have become hardened to shocking dark fiction.  I think some people will find it very difficult to read, but as a piece of fiction it was quite riveting.

When Lane's mother commits suicide she is sent to live with her grandparents' who she has never met, so you know there is some kind of family secret that caused the fracturing in the family.  Lane's cousin, Allegra, already lives with her grandparents and the pair form a natural bond, but things with Allegra aren't quite what they seem.  When Lane sees her family for what they really are she leaves Roanoke, never to return, until Allegra goes missing and she has no alternative but to go back.

As Lane uncovers the truth around Allegra's disappearance, be prepared for some very difficult reading.  Praise to Amy Engel for not being too graphic but it still made my skin crawl.  It's very difficult to talk about this book without giving anything away but I think of it as sort of a guilty pleasure.  I really enjoyed it but felt I shouldn't have, if you know what I mean?  You'll know what I mean if you've read it.

It's the darkest book I've read for a long time but it still defies you to have the courage to remove your eyes from the page.  I loved how what was going on was insinuated but when proof was revealed in front of my eyes I felt shock and disgust.  It just shows that seeing is believing!  Although the story is told from Lane's point of view, we mustn't forget Allegra: she is a true Roanoke girl and the thread that draws us into this fascinating story.

The Roanoke Girls is a story that will shock and horrify you, but it is so compelling that you can't tear your eyes from the page until the inevitable heart-breaking ending is revealed.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

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