The Roanoke Girls: A Novel

The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel Wow... I don't even know where to begin with this book. It was controversial and edgy but I have to admit I found it extremely entertaining and enjoyable. It revolved around several topics including relationships within dysfunctional families, incest, and overcoming, escaping, or at least making peace with the past. I almost feel guilty for enjoying this book as much as I did but it appealed to the morbidly intrigued and curious side of me on one level, as well as the side that enjoys a good suspenseful mystery with plenty of tension, more than one red herring, and a unique story line that hasn't been exhausted by every author out there who writes in this genre.

The story is told in away that every chapter alternates characters, all from the point of view of the Roanoke girls (most of whom are deceased), but it revolves mainly around Lane, who has returned to her grandparents home in Kansas after eleven years when her cousin, Allegra, goes missing and it switches narrative from present day Lane as she searches to find her cousin, to back when Allegra and she were teenagers, revealing the secrets and tragedy that all the Roanoke girls share. The main character, Lane, reminded me a bit of the main character in The Girl on the Train, in that she was well meaning and good hearted, albeit misguided, flawed and reckless with an edgy and ironic streak but overall she was a likable and complex character who desperately wanted to do the right thing despite the hand she'd been dealt and the odds stacked against her.

This is the first book I've read by Amy Engel and the first book she has written for adult readers although she has published a couple ya books that I now fully intend to read along with anything else she publishes in the future. This wasn't a very long book, I finished within 24 hours, but it was very well written and very good. This is a strong 4 stars for me and leaning heavily towards 5 and I highly recommend it to other readers.

I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.