Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Review: 'Roanoke Girls' by Amy Engel

Disclosure:  I received the hardcover edition of this book from Blogging For Books for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

"Roanoke Girls Never Last Long Around Here.  In the end, we either run or we die."

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
Published 3/7/2017 by Crown
Genre:  Suspense & Thriller
Pages:  276
Source:  Blogging For Books
My Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐ (3 out of 5 Stars)

Goodreads Synopsis:
After her mother's suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother's mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran fast and far away.
Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.
As it weaves between Lane's first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

My Thoughts: 

Dark, depressing, and unsettling novel.  The synopsis of this book made me excited to read it because I love a good mystery/thriller.  There's a missing girl and some very dark family secrets.  What happened to Allegra?  What is going on with the Roanoke girls?  What is the devastating secret that made the main character, Lane Roanoke, run away?  So, I started reading this thinking it was going to be a typical mystery, but then something happens, one question asked by Lane, that changes the whole direction of the book.  I can't say much more, because I don't want to give anything away, but let's just say it's shocking and very disturbing.

The novel weaves back and forth between the past and the present.  The story begins in the past, when Lane's mother commits suicide, and she goes to live with her grandparents and cousin Allegra in Kansas.  Her grandmother seems cold and distant, her grandfather appears normal, and her cousin seems like a gregarious, but troubled girl.  Lane eventually leaves town after something horrible happens and she does not return until years later when she finds out that Allegra is missing. There are some very dark characters in this book and it was not easy to read about such a dysfunctional family.  

I thought this was an interesting read, that kept me guessing throughout, but the subject matter was just too disturbing.  I love the author's writing style so I will definitely be reading her other books, but this novel was just too dark for me.  If you like a good mystery/thriller, give this one a try, but be aware that there are some shocking moments that may make you uncomfortable.

Disclosure:  I received the hardcover edition of this book from Blogging For Books for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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