Review published on April 14, 2017.
The Roanoke girls are all mysterious. They are rich and all have a certain captivating beauty. Everyone wants to be a Roanoke girl, but if they knew the truth, they might just change their mind.
Lane’s mother killed herself in their New York flat when she was just fifteen. Not really knowing that she had anyone or any family she is surprised to hear that her grandparents are still alive and would be more than happy to look after her at their Kansas home. Arriving at the startling looking house, she is welcomed by her folks and her cousin Allegra. They hit it off right away and she starts to discover the wilder side of life in the town. She settles into life and enjoys being doted on by her grandfather, but Lane starts to hear rumours and snippets about the family, and slowly she begins to understand the truth.
To be a Roanoke girl, you run, or you die.
This is a dark and very disturbing family saga with a subtle twist at the end. It is one of those car crash type books that is compelling enough to keep you reading until the end. I liked the way it skipped back and forwards in time, each secret from Lane’s story in the past became a clue revealed in the modern day story. But it did have its faults… There was a fairly unsubtle hint about the nature of the secret given away far too early in the book for my liking. Almost all the characters were flawed in one way or another, which is not necessarily a problem, as the flaws that we have make us human, but these characters seem to not help themselves in any way.
Paul Cheney 2/2
The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
Hodder & Stoughton 9781473648371 hbk Mar 2017
AMR: Graeme Macrae Burnet meets Sheila A Grant