The Roanoke girls. By Amy Engel. Release date 10th August 17.
Roanoke girls never last long around here. We either run or we die.
The Roanoke girls seem to have it all. But there's a dark truth about them which is never spoken. Every girl either runs away, or dies.
Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long, hot summer at her grandparents' estate in rural Kansas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke girl. Lane ran, far and fast. Until eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing – and Lane has no choice but to go back.
She is a Roanoke girl.
Is she strong enough to escape a second time? (From the blurb)
This book is one of those that's not going to be for everyone. The subject matter is heavy, and for some may well be triggering.
It features child abuse, incest, suicide and murder. It's deeply unsettling and at times made me feel really uncomfortable. I don't think there's a character in this book who isn't very messed up.
However it is very well written, I'm not sure if enjoyed is the right word to use but I was completely drawn in, I had to stick with it. I liked the way the author interweaves the flashbacks with the current story. Often, I don't enjoy flashbacks in books, they can make a story feel too disjointed for me, but it worked in The Roanoke girls.
I don't feel like it sensationalises the subjects it deals with, it sets them out as the stomach churning matters that they are.
It's definitely a story that will get you thinking.
I don't usually read the reading group questions at the end of a book, but I did with this book because I was curious, and I feel that if you get to the end there's definitely plenty for discussion, so perhaps it would be a good book club book.
An example of the reading group questions.
"Do you think gran is right when she says mothers are judged more harshly than fathers? Why do you think that might be? Is it a fair standard?"
I'm only giving The Roanoke girls 3 and a half stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2
But that reflects more on the subject than the writing. It is undoubtedly well written.
I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley for review purposes, but all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.