Drama, Family, Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

There are a few books that capture your interest right away just with their cover and title. That was my experience with this novel. Without even having read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read this novel. When I received the ARC of it, I was ecstatic and jumped right in without reading the blurb. So …. here is my review:

After her mother’s suicide, 15-year-old Lane Roanoke is sent to live with her grandparents and cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in Kansas. Lane’s mother never talked about life back home, so Lane doesn’t really know what to expect. But she soon finds herself embracing life as a beautiful and rich Roanoke girl. However, it isn’t long until she discovers a terrible family secret… and so she runs away. For the next 11 years, Lane does her best to forget her past and start fresh in Los Angeles. But one call from her grandfather is all it takes to make her come back home: Allegra has gone missing. Unable to fight off the guilt of having left Allegra behind, Lane returns to look for clues and help in the search for her cousin. While her homecoming means a chance to reconcile with her past friends and an ex-boyfriend, it also means facing the devastating  truth she has been running away from… and this time, she may not be able to escape it.

Right away, I’m going to start with a trigger warning: this novel deals with some graphic sexual content so keep than in mind before reading it. That being said, I really liked this novel. It was disturbing, yes, but it was intelligent and thought-provoking. The author created characters that were well-formed and had believable reactions based on what was happening. Quite often, I find authors creating characters that behave in ways that just don’t make sense with the experiences that the character is going through, but that wasn’t the case in this novel. The story was gripping; I couldn’t put the book down no matter how uncomfortable it got. This is one of those books that you know will stay with you long after you read it. Everything is explained well, and there was never a time when I didn’t sympathize with the Roanoke girls – and that is a difficult thing to achieve. Overall, a really well-written and disturbing novel that gripped me from beginning to end!

I received this novel as an ARC from NetGalley and Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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