Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

    • The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
    • Published March 7, 2017
    • Author's first novel for adults. Also wrote two books for the young adult series The Book of Ivy.

    • The story takes place in two time frames. 
      • One occurs when 15-year-old Lane Roanoke moves to her grandparents' home in Kansas after her mother's suicide.
        • She meets her cousin Allegra, who already lives with her grandparents after her mother "ran off" after Allegra was born.
        • Lane also meets a guy and starts a romance with him.
      • The second occurs 11 years later. Lane now lives in California but her grandfather calls and asks her to return to Kansas because Allegra is missing.
        • She searches for clues as to Allegra's whereabouts and rekindles her romance with the guy she left behind.
    • We learn, bit by bit, and through the 2 time frames, what the backstory is on the whole family of Roanoke girls.
    • And incest. LOTS and LOTS of incest.

    • You kind of know incest is going to be a thing early on in the narrative but you don't really understand the whole thing until the end.
      • Spoilers in inviso-text (highlight with your cursor to read them): The grandfather molested his two sisters, his daughters, AND his granddaughters. He does this by grooming them so that they all come to believe that this is what they WANT. (Until they catch on to the whole sick thing and leave or kill themselves.) His granddaughters are thus also his daughters. Lane ran away as soon as she figured it out, the same summer she arrived, and wasn't molested. Grandma knew about the whole thing and murdered her last daughter as a baby so Grandpa would  love her again. 
    • The only real mystery is what happened to Allegra. The solution is appropriate to the story. The story is not a true mystery book however.
    • Not my favorite book but I liked parts of it. That would be the parts where we learn about life in the small town where the story takes place. 
    • The ending is hopeful.
    • Recommended for those who like mysteries but with a strong sexual element to them. Or if reading Flowers in the Attic didn't bother you.
    • ★ ★ ★


  1. The incest in "Flowers in the Attic" did not bother me as much as the poisoning. Is Lane's romance with Claritin? Spoiler alert: Someone murdered the wrong someone.

  2. Do "those" you recommended this for even exist??? I still feel nauseous when I think of Flowers in the Attic, which I try to do never.

    Hey, I was with you when you read this! Ah, good times.