I received a copy of The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review. This was a dark sort of story, but I found it very well-written and compelling. It will likely be compared to Flowers In The Attic in every review, and I will say it does have some of the same disturbing themes. This is a type of psychological thriller that keeps the reader guessing and wanting to know more about the twisted Roanoke family.
“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.”
I enjoyed the small town location of the story – it takes place in Osage Flats, Kansas, which is not a real town, but certainly could be! The author was born in Kansas and lives in Kansas City, which is pretty awesome! She actually had a book release at my local Barnes and Noble on Wednesday, but I didn’t know about it!
The book alternates between Lane’s current life, her past when she came to live at Roanoke, and the pasts of the other girls in the Roanoke family tree. These girls have been through a variety of twisted situations, all centered on the family patriarch, Yates. Each girl’s story is sad, but Lane has the chance to change things. Finding out what happened to Allegra puts Lane in back harm’s way, but also gives her the ability to break free. Although some of the topics in this book can be upsetting, I found the ending uplifting and hopeful, which is something I always appreciate in a novel.
What have you been reading lately?