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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls (2017)

by Amy Engel

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22811550,815 (3.53)17



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Roanoke Girls treads lightly around a disturbing subject. The secret, that isn't really a secret, which has led to the running or death of the females in the family.

Lane thought she had escaped but she is pulled back into the world of Roanoke Girls when her cousin, Allegra, goes missing. The story is less about what happened to Allegra and more about the relationships in the Roanoke family.

The movement between past and present and various characters is handled well. Unfortunately, even with all of the emotion that is supposed to be conveyed throughout the book, it feels like gazing at the surface of the pond and still not seeing into the depths. Although the family secret is revealed early in the story and much of the book is intended to explore the consequences of that secret, the book felt like a light, fast read. The expected weight simply wasn't there. ( )
  DonnerLibrary | Apr 27, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Lane was a Roanoke girl, beautiful and rich, once she was sent to live with her grandparents and cousin after her mother killed herself.

But something caused Lane to flee that life, and promise herself she would never go back. But when her cousin disappears, Lane must face what happened to her all those years ago.

Engel has written some very complex characters. No one is perfect, and even the characters I would consider to be the villains of this piece had shades of grey.

This is also a compelling and gripping read that I couldn't put down. The flashbacks create a lot of tension that kept me having to turn pages.

I predicted the big family secret just by reading the back cover. It's not supposed to be a secret for long, I suspect, as a main part of it is revealed a few chapters in, but I still was hoping for more mystery longer. The secret was also a difficult one to read about for sure.

Even though there didn't end up being as much of a mystery behind the family secret as I hoped for, this was a book I couldn't put down. ( )
  seasonsoflove | Apr 26, 2017 |
Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to Osage Flats, Kansas to live with her maternal grandparents and her cousin, Allegra, after her mother commits suicide. Lane doesn't really know anything about her family. Her mother ran away when she was young and severed all ties with them. Allegra, abandoned at birth and raised by her grandparents, begins to show Lane the perks of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But the Roanoke girls don't last long around here, they either die young or run away. When Lane stumbles across the truth of why she has no choice but to run.

Now, eleven years later, Lane is barely making ends meet in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her that Allegra has gone missing and he wants her to come home. Returning to Osage Flats means facing what happened all those summers ago. Unable to resist her grandfather Lane returns to Kansas, determined to find her cousin.

I like the way this book goes between the summer Lane first arrived at her grandparents house and the summer she returned. It builds up to some shocking revelations about the Roanoke family. It was hard to put down because I just had to know what happened next. ( )
  jenn88 | Apr 25, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Three generations of females in the Roanoke family kept a dark secret, and most of them died young. When teenage Lane's mother took her own life, Lane was sent to live with her maternal grandparents, charismatic Yates and distant Lillian, in rural Kansas. And Lane learned the distressing secret.

The Roanoke Girls is well written, combining flashbacks to Lane's arrival in Kansas with her experiences as an adult, returning to help with the search for her missing cousin. Other chapters focus individually on the Roanoke girls. I did not enjoy the book, however, largely because of extensive profanity, and skipped some portions. Prospective readers should be aware of this.
  Fjumonvi | Apr 24, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”
After her mother's suicide, sixteen year old Lane Roanoke comes to live on her grandparents vast estate in Kansas. Her cousin Allegra, about the same age, is there too, being raised by her grandparents after her mother's disappearance. But there is a dark secret at the heart of the Roanoke family, the reason why all the beautiful girls die or run, and when Lane figures it out, she runs, far away. Ten years later, Allegra disappears and a phone call from her grandfather brings her back to the Roanoke family home to help look for her. The novel weaves back and forth between Lane's first and only summer there, and the present, as Lane seeks to unravel more of the truth about her family. Extreme family dysfunction, sexual abuse, and incest are all parts of the story, so be warned. ( )
  rglossne | Apr 24, 2017 |
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Look at this tangle of thorns. - Vladimir Nabokov
For Brian, you know why
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The first time I saw Roanoke was a dream.
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