The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

4 Stars (4 / 5)

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

After her mothers 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 mothers 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.

Ok, so I will admit that this book isn’t going to be for everyone. I personally loved it. One of my favorite things to read about is other people’s totally messed up lives, and this book is definitely one of those books. The author has a great writing style, I thought the story flowed smoothly. It went back and fourth between points of view and I adore books like that. It alternated between the events of one summer and current day murder investigation, which gave it that little bit of plot twist at the end.


The characters were so remarkably broken, so fabulously brainwashed into believing their own truths. All of them too, each secondary character had their own fat steaming pile of shit to deal with, no one was extra or meaningless in this story. While they were doing horrible, detestable things, I still liked them in their own way, felt for them or could see how they got into that position. Except Sharon. FU*K that B*TCH.

This story wasn’t just about the messed up family, but an emotionally gripping portrait of a lives bruised and manipulated by one man’s narcissist. A man who thought he could shape his own family values if he just started them early enough. It’s a pretty dark and taboo subject, without all the dirty explicit sex scenes.

There was also a murder to solve, and I think the author did a good job at the whodunnit aspect of the story. I was surprised by the ending.

SPOILER!!!: I liked that it worked out for Lane. She may have been cold but she didn’t ask for any of that.


I kinda wanted more! More family history, that is the main place that you capture your readers in a story like this. Think Fall On Your Knees by or The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. We loved the plot line to those novels but we reveled in the rich, totally jacked up family history. While there is a little bit of it, and I loved what was there, I would have loved to see more, more, more.

The beginning dragged just a little bit for me. When the family secret was shared I became more interested. I was given this book for free from Netgally in exchange for a fair and honest review, but I had been keeping an eye on new releases and knew that I wanted to read this book anyways.

This is definately an adult book, with adult themes and relationships. There is sex but little violence. I would not recommend this book to someone who doesn’t feel comfortable with anything that I discussed within this review. I got this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review from NetGalley AND Blogging for Books. Thanks for the opportunity guys!

If you liked this book or even like the sound of it, then you would like the book Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald.

Buy it on AMAZON

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Sara is a book hobbit that lives in a house of all boys, located in the promised land. Books stack the walls to the ceiling in some places, and she just keeps adding more. She was raised on top of a mountain that is locked in the dead of winter ten months of the year. She wears a size eleven shoe and enjoys her chicken cooked on the BBQ grill. In addition to reading she enjoys pinning crafts on Pinterest that she will never make and watching movies about people with sad lives or documentaries about serial killers.

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