Review: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls was kind of like a train wreck. I couldn’t tear myself away from this incredibly twisted story. But I loved it. The writing was so compelling, and the suspense was subtle, but it kept me reading. I just had to know what happened – in both the past and the present.

In the past, 15 year-old Lane moves back to the family homestead in Kansas after her mother commits suicide. There she meets her grandparents, and her cousin Allegra, also 15. She spends only one summer there, but it’s a summer that changes her life forever. The family secrets are revealed to Lane: why her mother left all those years ago, why all of her aunts have either died or run away, and why her cousin refuses to leave.

In the present, Lane has been called back to Roanoke because Allegra’s has gone missing. She returns slinging the accusations and yet unafraid to face her grandfather after all the time away. United with her summer fling from all those years ago, and Allegra’s boy-toy, now town sheriff, Lane is determined to find Allegra, dead or alive.

Rather than pull a plot twist at the end of the book, this novel reveals the Roanoke family horror almost right up front – before page 100 for sure. (I read on my Kindle, so I don’t know the exact location.) It all still worked very well for me. And I cannot stop telling people about this book.

Rating: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact does not in any way impact my thoughts/feelings about the book.

The Roanoke Girls
Amy Engel
Fiction
Crown
March 7, 2017
eARC
288

Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

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.

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