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The Roanoke Girls

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Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin at the Roanoke family's rural estate following the suicide of her mother. Over one long, hot summer, Lane experiences the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls.

But what she doesn't know is being a Roanoke girl carries a terrible legacy: either the girls run, or they die. For there is darkness at the heart of Roanoke, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull, she must make her choice...

279 pages, Hardcover

First published March 7, 2017

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About the author

Amy Engel

9 books2,090 followers
Amy Engel is the author of THE FAMILIAR DARK, THE ROANOKE GIRLS and THE BOOK OF IVY series. A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family. Her next literary thriller, I DID IT FOR YOU, will be published by Dutton in Summer 2023.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,871 reviews
Profile Image for Deanna .
687 reviews12.5k followers
February 7, 2017
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

All the stars!!!

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

As soon as I read that first sentence in the blurb for this book, I knew I had to have it. Once I started reading I had a really hard time putting this book down. This was another one of those rare times that I was not upset at having to wait at the doctor's office. They probably called my name a few times before I even heard them.

Fifteen year old, Lane Roanoke is still reeling from her mother's suicide when she comes to live with her maternal grandparents at the Roanoke estate in rural Osage Flats, Kansas. Her cousin, Allegra is six months younger and beyond thrilled Lane has come to stay. Allegra lives with and is being raised by their grandparents. Lane had never met her grandparents, and her mother refused to talk about them. All Lane knew was that her mother ran away years before. Lane's relationship with her mother was a difficult one.

Dysfunctional doesn't even come close to describing this family....

The Roanoke family has dark secrets that go back generations. Allegra is more than happy to fill Lane in on the tragic lives of the Roanoke girls that came before them.

Lane and Allegra have quite the summer. But when Lane learns the horrific secrets of the Roanoke family, she has to leave. She wants Allegra to come with her but Allegra refuses to leave Roanoke. Lane's heart breaks at leaving Allegra but for the sake of her own sanity she can't stay in such a toxic environment.

Time wise it was only one summer of her life, but that one summer changed Lane's life in many ways. She vows never to return to Kansas or her family's farm.

Eleven years later, Lane gets a call from her grandfather. He tells her she needs to come home...she must come back to Roanoke as Allegra is missing. Lane swore nothing would ever get her to return to that place...but she has to find out if Allegra is okay.

When Lane arrives at the farm she feels the familiar dread. But she must find out what happened to Allegra.

Allegra...the only Roanoke girl who wouldn't leave.

In my opinion this was a very well written and extremely thought-provoking novel. Disturbing and intelligent, I was gripped from beginning to end. I liked the format of the book. Written mostly from Lane's point of view but also the perspectives of all of the Roanoke girls and their stories. It flowed easily back and forth between past and present. Unsettling and dark, but I was unable to stop reading. All of the characters, the good and the evil are very well drawn. Their behavior and how they related to each other felt authentic.

This book deals with some upsetting subject matter that may make some readers uncomfortable. However, I felt that the author handled the issues with sensitivity and didn't try to sensationalize the things that happened. I have no doubt that this story is going to stay with me for a very long time.

I am really looking forward to reading more from this very talented author.

Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing, and Amy Engel for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
March 27, 2017
*5 stars*

Amy Engel’s writing is as powerful as this story's subject matter is unsettling. It’s a forceful combination; one that had my churning stomach forever at odds with my growing curiosity and admiration for these tortured Roanoke Girls and their legacy of heartache.

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

This story’s tone is dark and haunting, and its content downright appalling. But, if you give the plot enough time to show its face, you’ll find that it becomes so much more than just an ugly representation of its characters’ flaws.

Because there is beauty in digging yourself out of the dirt you that bred you - no one expects you to come out of it clean, but the point is, to rise up. As for the Roanoke Girls, many of them proved too dejected, and then there was Lane.

Sometimes it’s a revelation, even to me, how much more comfortable I am with cruelty than with kindness.

After spending one staggering summer at the poisonous Roanoke house, Lane bolts, vowing never to return to her Granddad’s estate, where dysfunction breeds and forbidden secrets roam the halls like restless ghosts.

But when Lane’s cousin Allegra goes missing, their unlikely bond that formed during that ominous summer ten years ago has her fleeing back to the Roanoke house, determined to find her cousin.

This author’s writing is so compelling and may pull you in deeper than your willing to go, but try to trust the hand that leads you. The *grotesque* element in this story lies heavy in its pages and doesn't die—it is obvious, and it is “known”—but the few graphic displays are mercifully delivered in mild detail.

The connection between Lane and Allegra was my favorite aspect of this story. It was offbeat and imperfect, but powerful and unwavering. Beyond the shadows of their flaws and disastrous childhoods were glimpses of two young girls with regular desires for fun and love and acceptance—a normalcy typically taken for granted.

There is a slow-burning love story woven in, and although it doesn't necessarily become the story’s focal point, its heartwarming presence softens the rough edges. The first person narration was quick and witty and filled with a dry humor that I particularly enjoyed.

Her smile is so painfully polite it might as well be outlined in frosting.

This book (as with most) is not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. There are potential emotional triggers present and one should take caution before jumping in.

But you will get a beautifully written piece that, although not the easiest to digest, does present hope in its final pages. Above all, this story makes you FEEL … anger, disgust, sadness, pain, misguided love, disbelief, failure, triumph, loyalty, broken hearts and ones on the mend … it’s all there waiting to be absorbed.

I’ll leave you with a completely *spoiler-free* portion of the book where the writing hit me the hardest. I was so caught up in this particular moment that it actually took my breath away, and not from sadness alone, but from the impact of so much building emotion. This is where the book became something extraordinary for me:
I could never say aloud … How sometimes when I whispered those awful words to my mother the veins in her neck stood out so far from her skin that I thought they might explode. How her fingernails would leave red welts down the the side of her face. On the nights my words cut deepest, sliced quick and deadly as scalpels, her eyes practically bulged from her face, and I was filled with a rotten, hellish joy because at least she was finally looking at me. At least she finally, finally saw me. “Stop it,” she screamed sometimes, staring at me from between the bars of her fingers. “Stop it, you evil little bitch! Stop it! Stop it!” To me, it might as well have been a love song.

Pre-review: All library loans come through on the same day just as NetGalley approves enough books to drop my feedback ratio below the recommended 80% and my finsh-the-book-on-time-anxiety level hits an all-time high ... I don't know how all you awesome book bloggers/blog tourers do it!
(**Bookworm problems...right, foxy**;)
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,935 followers
July 9, 2019
UPDATE: $1.99 Kindle US today 7/9/19

This book is horribly sad and nasty!


Lane's mom commits suicide and she gets shipped off to live with her grandparents in a little town. Lane has a cousin living with them as well, her name is Allegra. She's crazy as all get out but there are reasons.

Grandpa is a very nice man to the girls. Gran, she's just there so it seems. Their house keeper, Sharon isn't too friendly. Their field hand (whatever you want to call him) Charlie lives in a little apartment on the property. They all know the secrets. Some nasty secrets!

Some Roanoke girls run away never to be heard from again, some die, one died as a baby. It's not good to be a Roanoke girl. Lane leaves when she's 16 but tells them she's leaving. She gets married, gets divorced and its messed up the whole time.


She gets a call from grandpa asking her to come home because Allegra is missing. She doesn't want to but she wants to try to find her cousin.

Lane reunites with some old friends. Tommy, who was in love with Allegra but she wasn't in love with him, is now married and the town sheriff.

Cooper, who she had a relationship with when she was a child now owns his fathers garage and Lane finds she still has some feelings for him. There is some baggage with the past. I had no idea how much, it's pretty sad, but there was a good ending for those two.

The book tells the story of then and now. It also tells the story of other Roanoke girls. It's not too confusing with the then and now but with all of the girls I got a little confused with who was who. All of that doesn't matter in the end, you get the real story and it's nasty!


I probably left some out but it doesn't really matter, it's that messed up.

Even though this book is beyond messed up I still liked it. The book kept me on my toes even though I had a feeling of what was going on, just ewww.

I can't even believe all of this was allowed to happen! I mean really? Well, it happens so.....


I mean how could all of this just happen. They just let it happen, most of them, and went on about life like it was just another day. Most felt like there was nothing wrong with it, but I think maybe since some of them were young and never loved they just didn't know any better.

Anyway, that's all I'm saying. If you want to read a book with some messed up family with some suspense and ewww moments, then you have your book =)

*I received a print copy of the book through BloggingForBooks*

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
Shelved as 'dnf-lost-interest'
February 11, 2018
DNF. Too many triggers in this one for me to push through. I'm sure this is a great book for the right reader, I just didn't fit that bill. I understood that sexual abuse was an aspect of the plot but wasn't aware it was the entire focus. Still wish the author all the best and am sincerely happy for those who enjoyed it. On to the next one!
Profile Image for Lindsay L.
678 reviews1,322 followers
March 12, 2017
5 stars......my oh my!

I am kind of upset with myself......how can I be rating such a dark and disturbing story so highly? The only way I can explain and justify enjoying this book as much as I did is that this tragic story sucked me right in on page one and didn't let me up for a breath of air until the final page. Wow - I simply devoured this book!

From the moment I laid my eyes on the beautiful cover of this book when picking it up at the library, I was addicted to it - I couldn't let it leave my side. I have to admit it feels strange and wrong to have enjoyed this book as much as I did - it feels terrible even thinking about the stomach-churning storyline. Yet, while I was reading, I was fully immersed in the characters' lives and emotions, engulfed in this family's sick circumstances. I'm not going to get into any plot detail because I don't want to risk any spoilers but mainly because I don't even know how to properly explain this awful family situation.

The author, Amy Engel, blew my mind with her ability to draw me so deeply into this disturbing story. This is Engel's first novel for adults, and I certainly hope it won't be her last (although maybe next time a "happier" storyline????)
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.7k followers
September 3, 2019
Wow!  Holy Shooty Balls!

* 5 Holy cow stars! *

“Nothing around here has ever been right.”

The subject matter of this book is quite obvious and unsettling which did make me feel slightly uncomfortable at times but in my opinion the author handles the content gently and with care!

THE ROANOKE GIRLS by AMY ENGEL is a dark, dirty and haunting tale that is emotional, thought-provoking, disturbing, and heartbreaking with a hint of a romance weaved into the story to lighten the mood ever so slightly. I really enjoyed that part of the storyline.

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

AMY ENGEL delivers an intriguing and powerful read here with flawed and interesting characters.  The writing is absolutely phenomenal which is told mostly in Lane’s point of view alternating between then and now as well as the perspective of all the Roanoke girls and their stories.  I particularly liked the narration in Lane’s voice as she was quick-witted and had a sense of humor that I found extremely enjoyable to read.

I was also thoroughly impressed with how the author made me feel while I was reading this story.  My feelings ranged from total disgust and anger to feelings of love and hope.

Would recommend with caution as the theme of this story might be sensitive for some readers!!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Amy Engel, and Crown Publishing for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book for a fair and honest review.

All of Brenda & my reviews can be found on our Sister Blog:
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews593 followers
December 5, 2016
Very disturbing novel!
"Rage boils up from the pit of my stomach, mixing with outrage in my throat".
"It's not enough!" I say, my voice loud, just this side of yelling. I push back from the
table leg and my glass falls over. Water seeping across wood."
"Allegra is gone. She's gone! And both of you are sitting here like everything is normal!
Like this whole place isn't fucked".

Nothing about the Roanoke household -- just outside Osage Flats, Kansas, feels right.
Owned by Yates and Lillian Roanoke.
They are rich.
The giant house itself - with crazy add-on additions over the years looks
equal parts horrifying and mesmerizing.

Horrifying things have taken place inside that house.

In my opinion the subject is so dark that.....[WITHOUT GIVING ANYTHING AWAY].....
I would have liked to have seen MORE 'rage' and 'exploration' for the 'reason' Roanoke Girls were gone than where they went.

Its easy to become engrossed with the storytelling and characters immediately.
I read it in one sitting. It held my interest - yet I was quite sure of the mysterious issue at hand immediately, too, which was alright with me, but I am not sure the authenticity fully matches the heaviness of the secrets.

I read an advance copy physical book. Release date in March

3.3 This novel - IMO- would be enhanced with discussions

Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,706 reviews25k followers
July 16, 2017
This is chilling, dark and disturbing fiction from Amy Engel, set in the oppressive and overpowering heat of Osage Flats, in rural Kansas, where the Roanake girls end up running or dying. Fifteen year old Lane had a tense and difficult relationship with her mother who commits suicide. Shocked and adrift, she comes to live with her maternal grandparents in Kansas and bonds with her beautiful and off the wall, troubled cousin, Allegra, with whom she shares a remarkable resemblance. She takes to living there like a duck to water, having a delightful summer, whilst at the back of her mind are the warnings that her mother gave about the Roanokes. Lane comes back down to earth with a bang when she becomes privy to the monstrous secrets of the family. She runs to California, having failed to persuade Allegra to join her. The narrative is delivered primarily through the perspective of Lane and with two timelines.

Eleven years later, Lane has been both married and divorced, when she gets a call in the night from Yates, her grandfather, informing her that Allegra is missing. Heeding Yates, Lane is compelled to return and search for Amy. Did she run or has something infinitely worse happened to her? This puts her back in touch with Tommy, who is now married and a sheriff, and Cooper, who she develops feelings for. Additionally, it provides the opportunity potentially to face up to and confront the toxic house of horrors deeply embedded secrets. We learn the stories of a string of Roanoke girls. Lane's strong connection with Allegra make her determined to find out what happened to her.

Amy Engel is a gifted and atmospheric writer who manages to write about upsetting and distasteful issues without dwelling on them in depth and thereby keep the reader onside. Beautifully written, Engel handles the traumatising issues with subtlety and finesse. She does this through her range of flawed characters, who are developed with expertise, so much so that they feel real and authentic. I felt for the broken Roanoke girls and their desperate fates. The crimes committed against them engender a torrent of confusion, mixed emotions and with long term implications for their emotional welfare. Lane becomes aware of what her mother went through and only begins to understand her after her death. A gripping and compelling read, but not a novel for everyone given the issues involved. Many thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for an ARC.
Profile Image for Felice Laverne.
Author 1 book3,227 followers
February 12, 2020
“To Sarah, Allegra is simply a bitch…not one single second of Allegra’s life was easy. I know the agony she lived with every day. And I understand how sometimes you have to pass the pain around in order to survive it.”

Amy Engel’s adult fiction debut, The Roanoke Girls, turned out to be more than I’d hoped for in theme, in characters, in setting and narration. Despite all of the deep, dark and twisty subject matter that a lot of readers are commenting on—followers of my reviews know that I LOVE the dark and twisty stuff; keep it coming!—this novel really struck me as a breath of fresh air, because the characters were all so real in their flaws. They all struck me as real people, people who you might meet on the street and nod to with a passing wave, never knowing the secrets they’ve got stored in their closets at home…

Lane and Allegra Roanoke spent one unforgettable summer together that neither of them will ever forget, a summer that neither of them ever really recover from. The Roanoke Girls all share the same distinguishing features: long dark hair, piercing blue eyes and bodies that few men can ignore or deny. But it is something much deeper that binds them all together: they’re all branches of the same tainted tree. Those who have survived have fled, and those who have died aren’t done telling their secrets. When Lane Roanoke’s mother commits suicide (no spoiler), she ends up right back at the beautifully sprawling home that her mother had fled from, only to one day flee herself. And when Lane’s cousin goes missing, Lane is drawn back to that same ranch in Kansas, the one that those Roanoke girls can’t seem to get out of their blood, the one that they’re all bound to, even in death.

Admittedly, the big secret was alluded to early on, but, honestly, that really helped this novel, because it allowed Amy Engel to take the time to peel back the layers of the family and each of the Roanoke girls, to answer the more important question of why rather than what. With that said, the reveal was less in the subject matter at heart than it was in the history behind it and how it came to shape this family and those around them. The reveal was in the sharp realizations, in the dagger-wielding dialogue and in how the other sisters’ stories wove it all together. In short, the reveal was in how Engel finessed the story rather than beating her reader over the head with it, and for that, readers who love this one will rejoice.

Engel was smart with the way that she executed The Roanoke Girls, because she did away with the unnecessarily large and pompous word count in favor of telling a resonating story with no fat or fillers. That’s something that I always admire, an author’s ability to streamline, to edit, to give the reader what they need, unsubmerged in minutiae. Brava.

This novel was a truly exceptional glimpse into the inner workings of a family with too many secrets, hidden behind a façade that too much money has a way of affording. It was bitter at the edges and dark at its core, while being written in a tone that was both clear and sharp. Aware. And often, those are my favorite kinds of characters—the ones who aren’t fooled easily, who shake off the wool over their eyes without feeling the need to wallow in or latch onto innocence and sheltering. I loved Roanoke for that, for allowing the characters to unfold and to be themselves without shame, without cowardice, without the masking of politesse.

Engel’s poignancy can be found littered throughout the narration. Each and every chapter ending will leave you with a flutter in your chest, maybe a sharp intake of breath. I was hooked from the first chapter of this novel, a rare feat that I’m glad to have experienced with Engel. This novel pulls you into the Roanoke world completely, utterly. You surrender to the soft turns in plot and the biting cuts of dialogue that scrape away secrets and cut you to your core. I will say, however, that I wish I knew more about Allegra and Lane’s mothers.

Roanoke teems throughout with the theme of abuse, neglect, heart-wrenching love, and the effects of too much of all it. It forces the question, “What does a monster really look like? Is it some heinous thing you can spot from miles away, or is it something more subtle—something you can’t identify until you’ve already gotten too close?”
Can you tell one from the other?
Well, can you?
A strong and deserved 4 stars. ****

I received an advance-read copy of this novel from the publisher, Crown, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


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Profile Image for Debra .
2,414 reviews35.2k followers
November 12, 2017
4.5 stars

Sweet Mother of God...this book is like Flowers in the Attic on Crack. Seriously, this book has some serious ick factor...but it was also seriously good. I found that even though it was icky, I could not put this book down. I had to know. What is going to happen? Will the truth come out?

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

Fifteen year old, Lane Roanoke moved in with her grandparents and her cousin Allegra after her Mother's suicide. Her cousin, Allegra, is very excited to have another teenage girl living in the house. Lane does not know any of her family members. She has never met them. She had no idea that Allegra existed. Her Mother left the family home in Kansas when she was a teenager and never looked back. Her Mother never wanted Lane to ever know about the Roanoke family or history.

Lane attempts to make a life for herself at Roanoke, spending a lot of time with her Cousin Allegra and forms a relationship with a teenager boy, Cooper, in town. She thinks life on the farms, although sometimes strange, is good. Until one day she goes looking for her cousin and discovers a secret. A very dark hideous family secret. Lane cannot get away from Roanoke fast enough.

Years later Lane is contacted by her grandfather informing her that Allegra is missing. She decides to come home but at what cost? Did Allegra finally run away as some of the other Roanoke girls did? Did she harm herself? Coming home to look for Allegra, also means that Lane needs to face the demons from the past. Demons which are real and lying in wait. Coming home also means seeing an old friend (Tommy) and the boyfriend (Cooper) she left behind without notice.

The story is told through "Then" and "Now" chapters. There are also chapters about other Roanoke girls. This is a twisted family and boy do they have one doozy of a family secret. This book is not like anything I have read before but as I mentioned in the beginning, I thought of the book "Flowers in the Attic" while reading this book. Very original story line which is strangely compelling. The subject matter may be gross but somehow the Author is able to pull off a book which I found hard to put down. I had to keep reading. I wanted to know if this families secrets would ever see the light of day and of course, what happened to Allegra.

Even though this book has uncomfortable subject matter, there are no graphic scenes. There doesn't need to be and I appreciate the Author not including any in this book. I liked the pacing of this book. The writing is wonderful. Everything flowed nicely and as I said, I hated to put this book down.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,604 reviews5,987 followers
March 20, 2017
I would have a totally awesome quote inserted right here. Except for the fact that Kelly 'the book pusher' and Mitchell may really share parts of my brain. I checked and she had already stolen them. I'll let her slide since she threatened me bodily harm if I didn't hurry up and read this one. Because it's just pure goodness. (Don't read this 'head in the oven' book and look at us weird. We were already weird to start with.)

This book starts off with fifteen year old Lane after her mother's suicide. She lives with the neighbor drag queen for a minute before the state steps in and tells her she must have a legal place to go. And guess what? Her long lost grandparents not only will take her. They want her.
So off she goes to rural Kansas and her new home.


 photo tumblr_oewg0lDV4D1twbppvo1_500_zpsfxyijuwh.gif

She is greeted by her cousin Allegra, who has lived with the grandparents since birth. When he mom took off right after her birth. She learns that Roanoke girls either run or they die.
That sounds like the perfect type of girls doesn't it?
 photo ScreamQueensYES_zpsaecea4nj.gif

Gran is there also. She is one of those perfect types that would die if her hair wasn't in place.
Then the grandfather. Who is described as handsome but I think he is majorly creepy as heck. *shudders*
 photo 17802258_zpssvssicxu.gif

Lane ends up running after one summer at Roanoke. Years later she gets a call that her cousin Allegra is missing and she must return home. Lawd help.

I can't tell you much more because that would make me a spoilery butthole. Just know that this book is family drama times infinity.
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I'm gonna go take a bleach shower now.

Booksource: I received a copy from Netgalley and Crown books. In exchange for review. But really because I have no shame in my begging for a book like this.
March 3, 2017
Release Date: March 7, 2017

My Review:
Lane Roanoke is sent to live with her grandparents in Kansas after her mother commits suicide. She is fifteen years old with no other family members to care for her. Lane has no prior connections with her grandparents because her mother left her home as pregnant teen. The move also gives her a chance to meet with her extended family.
Lane quickly assimilates to living with her grandparents and cousin Allegra at their rural estate. Allegra is the same age as Lane and has always lived with them. Allegra explains the dysfunctional family tree and a strong bond is formed. She becomes comfortable living with her new family although her cousin’s behavior is erratic. Lane eventually stumbles upon a horrific family secret that forces her to flee to California.
This novel introduces dark and difficult themes but the author weaves it into an intriguing story. The characters are all flawed individuals but they are interesting and integral to the story. I enjoyed the mixture of emotions and suspense.

Book giveaway on my blog until 3/5 https://www.facebook.com/suzyapproved...
Profile Image for Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
1,347 reviews1,247 followers
September 22, 2023
I don't know how to write this. I'm speechless and emotionally wrecked by this astonishing book. I'm in a state of shock.

I am stuck for words. Overwhelmed. I only remember maybe two other books making me feel like this after finishing. I might read this a thousand times - and I never re-read books.

Shocking. Taboo. Sublime. Powerful. Disturbing. Dark. Beautiful. Sorrowful. Broken. Infectious. Horrified. Disgusted. Warmed. Desperate. Choked. Teary. Urging. Painful. Love. Lies. Secrets. Cracked..

These are all words I associate with this incredible book that creeps around you and captures your full attention. Absolutely breathtaking. An emotional roller coaster that has left me split open wide with so much feeling I ache. I'm not kidding.

I can't even touch the plot. The characters are exceptionally, and brilliantly portrayed. The plot will devour you as you inhale each word. I dare you not to feel. Oh. Just oh! Lane. Allegra. I love you - Roanoke Girls. I felt what you felt. How is that possible?

I'm buying the paperback to keep forever. Please promise me you'll get this book, right now preferred. Spend the money, treat yourself. Beg, borrow. Just read it and come back and please tell me how it made you feel.

6 stars. More stars. All the stars.

Breathe. I'm trying to breathe...coming up for air. This book hit me right in the heart, messed with my brain and set my moral compass on spin. Just outstanding.

Trust me.A must-read book in your lifetime dear readers.

I bought and read the Kindle version of this book. All review opinions are entirely my own and unbiased.

Thanks so much for reading my review! If you’d like to connect you can follow me or please send me a friend request.🐱

** “She needed books like others
need air to live” **

Profile Image for Felicia.
254 reviews940 followers
September 1, 2019
If Flowers in the Attic had incestual sex with Sharp Objects, The Roanoke Girls would be the inbred alcohol syndrome baby girl.

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

This is a dark family drama involving incest to the nth degree.

While there are no real twists or thrills in this story, it is nonetheless a captivating book written impeccably by Amy Engel. Very reminiscent of VC Andrews, not only in subject but in style.

I'm definitely curious to take a look at what else she has written as she doesn't appear to flinch when taking on taboo subject matter.

** I was provided a hardcopy of this book in exchange for $2 by the Half Price Books tent sale. All opinions are my own."
325 reviews302 followers
April 5, 2017
I was clueless about this book's subject, so my eyes just about popped out of my head when a character blurts out the scandalous family secret! The Roanoke Girls is exactly the type of twisted tale that I’d sneak into my library book stack when I was a teenager, so it triggered a nostalgic feeling in me. I was completely riveted by the story, but the entertaining quality made me feel like a rubbernecker. One big secret is revealed at 12% and the course of the story felt fairly certain from that point, but I'm spoiler-tagging the important lessons. If you're sensitive to any type of family secret storyline, you'll probably want to read this first spoiler: 

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

Fifteen-year-old Lane was sent to live with her grandparents after her mother committed suicide. It had always been just her and her depressed mother, but now she is surrounded by family. She's welcomed to the Roanoke estate by her charismatic grandfather, cold grandmother, and “mouthy, willful" cousin Allegra. Allegra and Lane hit it off immediately, becoming as close as sisters. The living arrangement only lasts for one summer, because Lane uncovers a terrible secret. She runs away and never looks back. Eleven years later, Lane's grandfather asks her to return home. Allegra is missing. Lane becomes the first Roanoke girl to go back to Roanoke and she doesn't intend to leave until she does right by her cousin. Where is Allegra? Why has so much tragedy befallen the Roanoke girls?

Roanoke always felt slightly alive, especially when I was there alone, as if it could lead me astray down unused corridors, whisk me away into the unknown, never to be seen again.

I was totally sucked into the story from the beginning. The prologue is deliciously creepy! The chapters alternate between Lane's first summer at Roanoke and her return as an adult, with occasional interludes from the other Roanoke women. The story takes place in rural Kansas, with "wheat fields that melt into the horizon" and the ever-present sounds of cicadas and train whistles. The sticky, oppressive heat is unrelenting. Lane always imagined Roanoke as a majestic estate, but it's actually a farmhouse augmented by a mishmash of disparate renovations. The entire town of Osage Flats feels like a return to a simpler era, but Roanoke is uniquely stuck in time. Lane's short time there feels like a lifetime. When she returns to Kansas, she reconnects with friends from her first summer at Roanoke: loyal Tommy and ex-summer-fling Cooper. I actually liked the romantic subplot in this one! Cooper and Lane had an interesting history and I'm a sucker for a "bad boy trying to do better" storyline.

Guilt, I’m discovering, is an emotion that’s almost impossible to kill. It’s like a poisonous weed that keeps on growing, burrowing into every vulnerable spot. Always reminding you of all the ways you’ve failed.

One of the secrets is revealed early on, allowing me to focus on how everything happened rather than what happened. Every subtle behavior takes on an ominous tint when we discover why Lane fled Roanoke so quickly. We see how a manipulator can muddle issues to the point that a person doesn't trust their own instincts.

You can't outrun what's inside of you. You can only acknowledge it, work around it, try and turn it into something better.

At Roanoke, secrets fester in the darkness. It was sad to see how even "good" people fell prey to their baser instincts. My heart broke even more for one of the girls when her trust was betrayed by the one person she thought she could count on. The author also explores secrets outside of the cultish, twisted environment of Roanoke. The Roanokes are not the only ones who have dark secrets. More than one character wonders if the cycle of pain is destined to repeat itself through the generations."Sometimes you have to pass the pain around in order to survive it."

"Sometimes people who love us can still hurt us.” The Roanoke Girls features an extreme situation, but we've all seen shades of it in the news. Crimes committed by respected members of the community, their terrible secrets guarded by those who should be the protectors. Sometimes segments of the community rally around these people, while passing judgment on the victims. This story covers some difficult issues that can be hard for people with loving families to comprehend. It's a compelling story, but also very disturbing. The contemporary mystery vibe made me feel like I was gawking at the situation, which is why I'm so conflicted about my feelings for this one.


I received this book for free from Netgalley and Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. The publication date is March 7, 2017
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,112 followers
September 30, 2018
“I’ve learned by now that life picks away at all of us, backs us into corners we never anticipated. Turns us into people we never thought we’d become.”

Woah! I read some of the reviews before starting this and a lot of people described the unsettling content in The Roanoke Girls, but even then I was still shocked by it!

After Lane Roanoke’s Mum commits suicide, she returns to the family home in Kansas. Where her grandparents and cousin Allegra live - one she has never visited before, and one her mother never mentioned.
From the beginning we know there is something off with Roanoke. Every female in the family has either died or run away, Lane’s mother, Auntie, her grandfathers sisters. Every single Roanoke girl apart from Lane and Allegra. But why?

With all the small town drama and angst you would expect. As the secrets unravel and the dark sordid secrets of Roanoke are revealed I was truly sickened. The content is handled maturely and with care by the author, but that made it no less shocking.

A fantastic psychological thriller. But one absolutely not for people with delicate dispositions.


They weren’t kidding when they said this book wasn’t for the faint hearted!
That was some twisted, fucked up shit!

Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,478 reviews7,775 followers
March 7, 2017
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/


“You know your family’s fucked up, right?” he asked. “Like, seriously screwed.”

If you want to sit at the lunch table with Mitchell and me you probably need to buy this. (Also, we wear pink on Wednesdays.) I’ve only read about 40 books so far this year, so declaring this to be “My Favorite Read of 2017” is a bit lackluster at this point. I will say that I bet any of you a dollar it ends up as at least a Top 5 by January 31, if that helps prove my point. I’ve also been forcing this on everyone I know – even though it wasn’t even available for them to buy/check out from the library. I mean, I’ve been telling anyone who would listen, and if no one was around to hear me???? Easy peezy lemon squeezy . . . .

Here’s the part where I tell you I “can’t really tell you much” because spoilers and blah blah and getting there is all the fun, and although that is so cliché it’s totally true . . . .

“Let me tell you a story. It starts out nice, but it ends . . . badly.”

The story here is about Lane, who goes to live with her never-before-met grandparents after her mother commits suicide. Over the course of a summer she becomes almost a sister to her cousin Allegra who also lives at the Roanoke estate and finds out the history of all of the beautiful Roanoke girls who came before her. Fast forward to the present where Lane is summoned back to the family home in order to track down a missing Allegra.

I notice The Roanoke Girls is being shelved/marketed as a “mystery,” but if you’re a frequent mystery reader you’ll know the outcome pretty much before things even get started. You’ll also most likely pick up on the trail of breadcrumbs that is left almost from the start, but if you’re anything like Mitchell or myself it won’t deplete your reading experience in the least . . . .

“The first time I saw Roanoke was in a dream.”

“Did you wake up screaming?”


“Was it a nightmare?”


“Then it was nothing like that.”

^^^^ That was on page one and right there I was like . . . .

Or book. You get the idea. Also, if your tastes run fairly vanilla when it comes to “mysterious chick litty” types of reads you might end up wishing you had some heroin after you finish this one.

EVERY. SINGLE. STAR. I’ll even go steal some from other books if I have to. Shitty books like The Shack.

I thought I couldn’t get any more excited, but then this happened . . . .

And Crown Publishing wasn’t even aware that I was going to be creaming my jeans about it before they sent it to me! Apologies for the worst hair day in the history of the world, but we legit had effing tornados last night and curly hair sho ‘nuff don’t care today. Also, I’ve been working on a janky ass broken phone with no selfie camera for about eternity and I’m super excited to annoy all of you with my old mug : )

In case you couldn’t figure it out from the swoony awkwardness above, an advanced copy was provided to me by Crown Publishing in exchange for an honest review. And now it’s . . . .


I'm taking a mini-vacay, but came on to post this real quick (then I'll see y'all on Tuesday). Today it was 75 degrees and sunny. In flyover country. In the middle of February. I sat outside and got melanoma read this sucker from cover to cover. I don't generally post place-holder types of reviews (especially since the feed changed and I get tired of seeing my own shit up there over and over, let alone everyone else's), but this doesn't come out until next month and there's a tiny chance it's still available over on NetGalley for request. If your idea of a "beachy read" is dark like Mitchell's heart, this might be the winner for you. It gets every single star and people need to get on their library waiting lists pronto before it blows the roof off the joint on release date.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,155 followers
February 6, 2017
Oh ICK! What a messed up family!

All of THE ROANOKE GIRLS are dark haired and exceptionally beautiful. Generation after generation, nothing but mesmerizing knockout beauty, but they have a big problem. They all hail from a "sick" dysfunctional family and end up having short troubled lives.

The story begins when sixteen year old Lane is sent off to live with her rich grandparents and vivacious cousin after her disturbed ROANOKE mother commits suicide. (no spoiler here) So from New York City to a desolate farm in Osage Flats, Kansas Lane goes to discover a shocking past (and present) existence within the residence.

Although the big secret is obvious early on, and the subject matter distasteful, the author does a great job of handling the ugliness in a subtle way making this reader want to keep turning the pages to find out why no one sounded the alarm, what really happened to cousin Allegra, and how Lane's relationship with the hunky Cooper turned out.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for the ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

Profile Image for Blair.
1,792 reviews4,425 followers
February 14, 2017
Right. Now we have 'domestic noir', we need a new genre name for this kind of book. The trashy literary thriller thing. The stories that fake depth with verbs that seem to be drawn from a litfic-by-numbers crib sheet. The Girls and its sisters. Reading one of these is like finding a box of mini donuts in the reduced section at the supermarket, when the sugar's turned gummy but they're only 20p, or all of The Only Way is Essex being added to Netflix: it's rubbish, but you'd better believe I'm consuming the entire thing.

From the moment the opening line shamelessly apes Rebecca, it's all there. The faux-literary writing ('skitter' and 'thrum' present and correct), the gleefully loathsome characters, the what-is-this-doing-here sugary/steamy romance subplot. Reminders every five minutes that the protagonist is gorgeous, paired with disparaging descriptions of most other women in the story that make plain Lane Roanoke's disgust with anyone who has the nerve to be old, fat, or mousy. The self-conscious raciness: like last year's Girls on Fire (another prime example of the type), this is an adult novel written by a YA author, and it shows. There's the same evident delight in broaching taboo subjects, from suicide to incest, and pushing them as far as possible without ever actually generating more than a flicker of shock.

The premise is seemingly appropriated from Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects: a girl who got away returning home to a stultified town and the creepily intimate, fucked-up family she'd sworn to escape. One of the eponymous girls even carves out words with a knife in an attempt to exorcise her own demons, exactly like Camille in Sharp Objects, though Allegra Roanoke uses hard surfaces, not skin, as her canvas. The disturbing secret that makes the Roanokes 'special' is revealed pretty early, leaving the bulk of the story to deal with the mystery of Allegra's disappearance and the question of whether returned runaway Lane will reunite with the guy she dated as a teenager.

Of course there are sparks of good stuff, or I wouldn't have finished it, much less finished it in a day. One clever thing this novel does is to have its very seductiveness echo what the Roanoke cousins are exposed to. Even knowing about the sickness at the heart of the story, you can't help but feel a little bit of longing for the ramshackle fairytale mansion, the long country drives on summer days, the warm nights beneath starry skies... And of course it's compelling; these books always are; that's their saving grace.

I'm sure this book will be a success. But for me, it might as well have been written by an algorithm. If you haven't, read Sharp Objects instead: it's equally dark and twisted, but Flynn's style and characterisation are in another league.

I received an advance review copy of The Roanoke Girls from the publisher through NetGalley.

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Profile Image for Jennifer Masterson.
200 reviews1,169 followers
August 23, 2017
DNF. I think I'm going through a rut. I've DNF'ed several books in the past week. This is definitely the case of it's me not the book. I made it about 50%. I wasn't even bothered by the subject matter.
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,036 reviews690 followers
February 7, 2017
Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

What is with those Roanoke girls? More to the point, what is with their ever-so-loving Dad and Granddad? And how does the mysterious and glamorous Gran fit into the picture? Being welcomed home with open arms is not always everything it is cracked up to be. The Roanoke girls. They either end up running away or they die.

Subject matter will be a deal-breaker for some readers.
May 3, 2017
I went back and forth wondering if I should read The Roanoke Girls as I didn't think it would be for me, but curiosity got to me and I decided to give it a go. I went in knowing and was prepared for the distrubing subject matter as my sister Norma gave me a heads up. There were really no shocking or overly disturbing moments for me as I was prepared for them allowing me to stay focused on the characters and not the subject matter.

The story is told from Lane one the Roanoke girls shifting from the past when Lane first arrived at Roanoke after her mother dies by suicide and the present when she returns after her cousin Allegra disappears. Through Lane’s eyes we slowly learn the details of the dark secrets of Roanoke and the Roanoke Girls.

I thought Engel did a good job with creating complex and interesting female characters, portraying them as strong but broken and making them hard and a bit unlikable at times. I found myself rooting, sympathizing and wanting to protect them. Engel also gives the lost Roanoke girls voices in small chapters giving us a glimpse of their perspectives. I found it interesting to the story how the female characters were grouped together as the Roanoke Girls but not sure I really liked that. I would have liked to have known the lost ones a bit more as individuals like we did for Lane and Allegra.

The Roanoke Girls is a disturbing story but I felt Engel did a good job of keeping it somewhat comfortable allowing me to care and feel for the characters without overwhelming me with anger with the disturbing subject matter. Overall the story worked for me but I didn't find the ending was satisfying and would of liked a bit more from it. As for recommending it I will leave that up to the reader. Lol.

All of Norma’s & my reviews can be found on our Sister Blog:
Profile Image for Danielle.
830 reviews454 followers
April 18, 2023
This book brought me back to the old VC Andrews reading days. 🤔 Before I found more literature options. 😉 It’s very “flowers-in-the-attic-esc”. With a “Sharp Objects” feel… if you’ve read either of those- and enjoyed them- then you’d probably like this one too. 🤓 Be warned…. It’s definitely not a read for everyone though.
Profile Image for Jan.
424 reviews256 followers
December 30, 2016
I'm honestly a bit worried at how much I liked this book.........

It's dark, angry and disturbing. Rich with secrets and flawed characters at every corner. Characters that at once irritated me, then made me want to reach out and give them a hug.

The reader is privy to the 'dark secret' early on, and to be honest I wasn't all that surprised. What did surprise me though was how the author handled this secret through the rest of the book.
Instead of it being smack in your face, there were undertones of it as the story played out, bouncing between Now and Then chapters, leading up to the final confrontation where there can be no more denial. I found this absolutely brilliant!

I think this subtlety allowed me to understand the characters enough to empathize with their situation instead of ruling out the absurdity of the whole premise. It's still there mind you, but the author was able to make me think past it, which helped make this a 5 star review versus a 2 star one.
Adding to the above-I was also impressed with how the author made me feel. From anger to smiles, from sadness to feelings of love and tenderness. Oh-and CREEPED OUT, can't forget that one!!

I'm not going to get into the plot as I don't want to mistakenly give anything away. I hope this review has peaked your interest enough to give it a read. It's a quick one, at just over 200 pages, but reads like one with a lot more to say.

I will most definitely be keeping my eyes out for more from this author, and I recommend that you do too!!

ARC provided by NetGalley

Profile Image for Edgarr Alien Pooh.
285 reviews185 followers
March 17, 2021
Roanoke Girls is one of those fascinating reads that sets up the story early, but a story with so many questions to be answered. You know from the start that everything is messed up and there is so much wrong with the players in this plot but you just can't put your finger on what.

Roanoke house is home to the Roanoke's, Grandad Yates and his wife, and, over time, the daughters and granddaughters. Inside the house hangs an old photo frame that has a mini photograph of all of the Roanoke Girls and each has their own story to tell. Some ran away, some died and others died at a very young age, such a tragic history for the richest family in the area, although, they are out in the boondocks in Kansas somewhere.

The local town of Osage Flats is the only entertainment for miles, a typical country small town with a school, a supermarket, playgrounds, a mechanics shop, and few poorly maintained eateries. And that is what passes as "lively" for the area. So boredom is a common thread except for the Roanoke clan. The locals believe the Roanokes to be filthy rich, happy, and stuck up, but also a family that has had its share of tragedies - in short, the locals have no idea.

Having said that, neither did I. This book is well constructed. As I mentioned at the start, you know there are real problems and can more than sense the evils that lurk, and cleverly as the novel moves forward little hints are given. It is not until a major tragedy plays out that all of the secrets spew forth. History and present-day events mirror each other and the terrible truth is revealed.

Roanoke Girls is a great ride and entertaining read.
Profile Image for Larry.
76 reviews8,737 followers
February 7, 2021
Not sure I would call this a thriller or a mystery, but it definitely is very dark. Both the secret and the villain(s) are relatively easy to guess, but I don’t think that detracts from the writing or the overall enjoyment - if I can call it that - of the story.
Profile Image for Margitte.
1,177 reviews539 followers
May 15, 2017
Look at this tangle of thorns ~ Vladimir Nabokov
Osage Flats, Kansas. Roanoke farm. A family of extraordinary beautiful women - descendants of Lily and Yates Roanoke; a mix-n-match architectural mansions; old hired hands; an old barn; corn fields; oil reserves.

Lane, fifteen, almost sixteen years old, the last surviving descendant, was called home by the patriarch when Allegra disappeared. Roanoke girls never last long there, they either run or die.
“Sophia drowned in the North Fork during the spring floods. She was twenty-something. Penelope fell down the main stairs and broke her neck. Tripped on her nightgown in the middle of the night. She was like our age, maybe a little younger. Totally tragic. Emmeline was crib death. Sharon said Gran didn’t get out of bed for six months after. They all thought she was going to waste away. Die of grief.”
The first time Lane saw Roanoke was in a dream, while living in New York. It stood stately and tall, tucked among a forest of spring-green trees. Its red-brick facade was broken up by black shutters, white trim, delicate wrought-iron balconies. A little girls fantasy of a princess castle.

"It was nothing like that," her mother said, and then Camilla died...

Jane. Sophia. Penelope. Eleanor. Camilla. Allegra. They were all waiting for Lane to help them. Begging her...

There was nothing normal to this tale, apart from Tommy Kenning. He was apple pie and football, homecoming king and white teeth, two kids and a minivan.

Poor Tommy...(says yours truly!)

I guess I am between the devil and the deep blue sea on this book.

YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I felt like puking my lungs out and burn the darn Roanoke place to the ground with the entire family bolted in chains to the floors to prevent them from escaping. Or fly over the place and destroy it with pesticide that would kill a possible epidemic of evil! An entire gene pool had to be destroyed!

Please forgive me for the extravagant exclamation marks and the outrageous emotional outburst. This book is a gut-ripping experience...equal parts horrifying and mesmerizing.

Ed Gein, from Plainfield in La Crosse County, Wisconsin, was the real life character on which the movie Silence of the Lambs was based. Instead of destroying his house of evil right then and there, when it was discovered what he did to women, the populace streamed there in their bizarre need to experience the horror themselves. It became a tourist mecca for a while! This is how I feel about this book. The shock value just have us all raging and running to book stores to lay our hands on a copy. Yours truly included! And yes, I watched Silence of the Lambs with eyes as big as planets too!

So now I don't know how to rate this book. The writing was brilliant. 10 out of 5 stars for that. But the subject was deeply disturbing, dark, demoralizing and GRIM!!! Totally over exploited in two ways as well, in my humble opinion. Too much of it. I cannot elaborate without blowing the unbelievable story. The subject is a fact of life, but pushing it down my throat to the gagging stage is not.

I'm adding the rest of the rant in this spoiler, for friends ONLY who have read the book already!!!!
So read it at your own risk, if you're not sure if you would like to read the book. I'm still not giving away the secret, so don't worry :-)

Fact is, the secret in the family, the sad characters, and the history of the Roanoke place was so well written. Gripping, compelling, suspenseful. An amazing book. If the author chooses different topics, and makes them easier digestible, I will gladly indulge in her writings. She is brilliant. But this one just left me cold in the end. Shell-shocked and annoyed. This book might be eye-catching, sensational. But totally for the wrong reasons.

I cannot describe the dramatic richness of the prose; the spooky atmosphere - disguised by a highly deceptive gentleness and love; the vulnerability and imperfection of the deeply humane characters; and the almost unbearable suspense driving the plot to its conclusion. Brilliant.

Not everybody's cup of tea though.
Profile Image for Michelle .
911 reviews1,404 followers
September 18, 2019
I don't know why I waited this long to pick this book up. It gripped me in it's ugly grasp from page one and never let go.

This is an absolutely horrible story that was written so beautifully it nearly took my breath away. I highlighted passages again and again because I was simply stunned at the talent of this author. It is no easy feat to tackle such an ugly subject matter and to do it sensitively. Oh how my heart ached for the Roanoke girls. The ending I found bittersweet.

I couldn't possibly give this anything less than 5 stars! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
3,005 reviews10.6k followers
August 31, 2017
After her mother's death, Lane Roanoke spent a summer with family in rural Kansas. Now, years later, her cousin Allegra is missing and Lane goes back to Kansas to figure out what happened and face the events of the summer that changed her life...

I saw the title Roanoke Girls being thrown around but I knew nothing about the book when it went on sale for $2.99. Going in cold made it all the better.

The Roanoke Girls is part mystery, part horrible coming of age tale. Lane Roanoke is a damaged limb on a diseased family tree, trying to forget the events of the summer after her mom died. When her cousin Allegra goes missing, Lane has to face the music.

Much like Tampa, this will be a polarizing book. Also, much like Tampa, it's compulsively readable, a trainwreck on the page. The best villains aren't the scene-chewing maniacs. They're the ones convinced what they're doing is right. The Roanoke Girls shares that with Tampa as well.

The writing style reminds me of Megan Abbott, and the subject matter as well. The story is told in two threads: the summer after Lane's mother's death and her return to Kansas to find out what happened to Allegra. In both of them, Lane turns over rocks to see the horrors lurking underneath, horrors she's tied to by blood and more.

The way Lane handles relationships keeps the story going even when nothing much is happening. She's damaged by her past relationships and can't help but wreck her current ones. She's a sympathetic figure, even when she's being a bitch.

The mystery wasn't all that complex but it was fun seeing Lane connect the dots. Like I said, the book was really hard to put down. I read it in two long sittings.

I was tempted to give it five stars but little things about it bugged me. Do women talk about boobs so much? Also, I'm pretty sure it's impossible to shoot a hole in a metal sign with a BB gun. And I wish certain parties would have suffered much worse fates. Other than that, I can't think of anything to bitch about. I loved the small town setting, the mystery, pretty much the whole thing.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,739 reviews5,280 followers
July 19, 2018
“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

I don’t have a lot to say about The Roanoke Girls, because I think this is one of those stories where it’s best if you go in knowing as little in advance as possible. When I picked this title up, all I knew was that it was an adult mystery fic, and that it involved a woman going back home to investigate her missing cousin. That said, I will take a moment to offer some content warnings for sexual abuse, incest, suicide, and parental neglect, so proceed with caution if those topics bother you.

This was such an incredibly disturbing, yet captivating story. It reminded me of my first time picking up a V.C. Andrews book as a kid, and being so enraptured, yet totally disgusted from start to finish. You learn very quickly that there is some incest and child grooming going on in the family, and things just snowball onward from there. The chapters alternate timelines between Lane’s teen and adult years, which is done flawlessly and makes the story pass incredibly quickly.

I enjoyed Lane tremendously as a narrator; despite making poor decisions, her behavior is constantly being addressed as the result of her childhood traumas. She acknowledges the need to change and better herself, which made her feel very three-dimensional to me. There is so much insight given to the politics of an incestuous family and the bizarre ways that loved ones can harm one another, and while it was a tough read at times, I couldn’t put it down. My only regret is letting it sit on my shelf so long before I dove into it.

Thank you to Blogging For Books for sending me a review copy! All opinions here are entirely my own.
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