Publication Date: March 2017 From Hodder.
Source: Review Copy
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?
Oh what to say about those Roanoke Girls. I’m still a little stunned if I’m honest. This one just dug down deep into my soul, then wrung it out and I came out the other side feeling rather ragged. IT JUST GETS YOU THAT WAY.
Beautiful writing with a hard hitting and emotionally resonant storyline, The Roanoke Girls covers some very dark subjects – on that I have to warn that not everyone will cope with this as a novel. Whilst I can’t give anything away there is a truth about what can happen behind closed doors and an insightful but unflinching examination of the fallout on so many lives that these things can have that is utterly gripping but intensely anger inducing at times. I cried great big buckets of tears and felt randomly stabby during parts of this tale – and Amy Engel has a considered and beautifully intense eye for prose that pulls you right into the heart of things.
Is it a thriller? Do you know thats the one thing that I have to be quite firm on, I don’t think it IS a thriller. The mystery element, what happened to Allegra, where did she go, that yes gives this a crime twist – but for me it simply serves the ongoing story. The history behind the Roanoke Girls is revealed, each little nugget of truth informing the whole, whilst we stick mainly with the latest two, Allegra and Lane, the book covers generations of a family in turmoil and that, THAT is where the heart of this is. It will break your heart. It will make you crazy. It will force upon you things you maybe don’t want to hear about but absolutely should.
Sometimes we are blind to that which goes on around us, either because we genuinely don’t see beneath the surface or because we don’t want to. In The Roanoke Girls Amy Engel forces us to look, into the depths of human nature and right at those things that we wish were a lie.
Everyone wants to be a Roanoke Girl. But be careful what you wish for…
I want to say I loved it but loved is not the right word. I’m never going to forget those characters, that place and time that the author evokes so incredibly well, it was utterly utterly gripping, at the end I was destroyed. Any book that can do that is a book that should be read. Don’t you think?
Highly HIGHLY recommended.
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