Monday, January 8, 2018

Review - The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel @aengelwrites @CrownPublishing

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
Publisher: Random House - Broadway Books
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Date Read: January 6, 2018
Length:  304 pages
Source: Blogging for Books
★★★★☆
“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? 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.

As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.
My Review

I thought that this book was fantastic!  I actually have looked at this book several times since its release and didn't pick it up sooner because I wasn't sure that I would like it.  I had nothing to worry about.  This story is disturbing and made me very uncomfortable but I loved it.  Once I started reading this book, there was no stopping and I ended up reading it in a day. 

As I said, this book tells a rather disturbing story.  In some ways, it was like a train wreck that you know you shouldn't look at but you can't help yourself.  This book deals with sexual abuse and could be difficult for some readers.  I went through a wide range of emotions while reading this book.  There were parts that made me mad, others that made me want to cry, some parts gave me hope, and some parts just made my skin crawl. 

Lane goes to live with her grandparents after her mother's suicide.  She has never met her Gran and Granddad, not to mention her cousin, Allegra.  Allegra and Lane bond right away and become quite the pair.  They spend almost all of their time together either in town with Tommy and Cooper or on the farm.  Years later, Lane is called back to the farm because her cousin is missing.  Lane works to figure out exactly what happened and where Allegra is.

This story is told through two timelines.  One timeline follows Lane and Allegra as teenagers when Lane first comes to live at the farm.  The other timeline is set in the present with Lane back at the farm to look for her lost cousin.  These two timelines worked perfectly together.  Information from the past that would be needed to fully explain the present seemed to be worked in at just the right moment.  There were also a few passages from the other Roanoke girls which gave a lot of insight as to the history of the family.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  This is the kind of story that will stay with me for a long time.  I really appreciated that the book ended on a hopeful note with all questions being answered.  This is the time that I have had the chance to read Amy Engel's work and I am looking forward to reading more of her novels in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from Random House via Blogging for Books.
About the Author

AMY ENGEL is the author of the YA novels The Book of Ivy and The Revolution of Ivy. A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family. This is her first novel for adults.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

32 comments:

  1. interesting title, is there any connection withe the lost Colony?

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    1. No, it is the last name of the family.

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  2. I really liked this one even though it definitely was uncomfortable and disturbing. Great review!

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    1. I am amazed by how good it really was.

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  3. I have this one but have never gotten around to reading it. Glad you enjoyed this so much and I have to admit, I like this cover better than the hardback one.

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    1. I think both covers make sense for the book. The print was kind of small in this copy.

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  4. I always find it interesting when we have two timelines, mainly when it's well done. I didn't know about this one but it looks good

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    1. The two timelines worked very well together in this book.

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  5. You have perked up my interest in this book again. When it was first released the reviews were all over the place so I put it on the back-burner but it sounds like something I'd probably enjoy.

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    1. I think I did the same thing. I actually think that you would like this one.

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  6. I have been on the fence about this one, but ultimately think I will read it. I am so glad you recommend it. And thanks for the head's up about the sexual abuse. That can be a trigger for me, and so knowing in advance helps me be prepared going in.

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    1. This book really focuses on the sexual abuse so it may not be for everyone.

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  7. That actually sounds really good.

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  8. I do think I would like this one too then

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  9. I probably would've been a little hesitant too. But is seems like everything was handled well. I might have to give it a try, I'll just keep Kleenex handy. Great review!

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    1. Surprisingly enough, I never felt the need to reach for any tissues. I think I was mad more often than anything.

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  10. I couldn’t get past the subject matter so this ended up being a DNF for me but I loved the writing and how it pulled me into the story. I’m keeping an eye out for more from this author.

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    1. I could see where this book wouldn't work for everyone.

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  11. I'm glad to know that it might be a difficult read, but also that it is worth it b/c of the story itself. I think the situation would make me mad, but also needing to know the end of the story.

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    1. I was so mad at some of the characters in this one.

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  12. I've heard really good things about this one. And definitely that it was disturbing, but still very very good. I don't mind books that deal with tough subjects if they are done well.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I thought that this one was really well done.

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  13. I love disturbing and uncomfortable. Damn, I should've grabbed the arc for this. Adding it to my wishlist for sure, though!

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    1. I am a big fan of disturbing and uncomfortable!

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  14. I am not sure if this one would be for me. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  15. I definitely agree with your train wreck description! Some parts just made me so angry/upset, but I couldn't look away either. I was happy with the ending too. I was preparing myself for the worst, but I still was hoping for the best. I actually read somewhere that she had two potential endings: the one she used and then one that was super depressing. Great review!

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    1. That is really interesting about the two endings. I hadn't heard that but I am very happy that she went with the ending that she did. It really ended the book on a good note.

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  16. Glad to see you enjoyed it! The dual timeline can be so tricky. It's always awesome to see it really done well.

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    1. The dual timelines in this story worked really well. The book felt really balanced.

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