Review: The Roanoke Girls @aengelwrites


Title: The Roanoke Girls
Author:  Amy Engel
Pub. Date:  3/7/2017

Series: None
Genre:  Psychological Thriller

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 don’t know how to rate this book, so I’m not going to.  Was the writing good?  Yes.  Did the story keep me interested?  Yes.  Were there complex and developed characters?  Yes, yes, and yes.  BUT, it’s the subject matter that has me in doubt.

The story is about Lane, and her uncovering the truth about her family’s history.  After her mom dies, she lives with her grandparents and cousin in Kansas.  That one summer will change her life forever.

Fast forward a couple of years later and she gets an urgent call from her grandfather that her cousin, Allegra, has gone missing.  Lane returns to the Roanoke estate to solve the mystery of her disappearance and relives the happenings of that summer eleven years ago…from her grandfather to the boy she left behind.

The writing is superb.  From the very beginning I was captivated and interested to know the mystery behind the Roanoke family.  However, when I discovered what it was, I was in for a shock of a lifetime.  This is not for the faint-hearted.  This deals with a subject matter that is just down right creepy.  While I did enjoy the book, I was left with an uneasy feeling that was hard to shake.

So, with all of that said I am at a loss of how to rate it.  Like I said, it is a well-written, fast-paced book, and I would like to check out the author’s others books.  However, for the Roanoke Girls, I am just at a loss…

***Thank you very much to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


8 thoughts on “Review: The Roanoke Girls @aengelwrites

  1. I agree with you that the subject matter in The Roanoke Girls was difficult to take or for me even believe. I felt Engel never really explained the “why” behind the basic premise. It’s interesting to note that this is Engel’s first foray into adult fiction and I think her background in YA might explain some of this.


  2. I just finished this book! I totally loved it but as you said, the subject is not going to be for everyone. But when reading a book critically – this one hits all the marks with high scores – at least for me. The writing and style are great, the characters are all excellent! It certainly is not a saggy, sluggish story line – it kind of gets under your skin and is compelling. It’s not really a “mystery” per say but solving what happened to Allegra adds a mysterious tone to the book and is the thread that keeps everything else together. In the end I loved this book but would just say be warned it’s got a sexual context that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. My hubby asked what I was reading and what it was about and I struggled to give a good synopsis.


    1. I agree with you Lisa, that’s why it was difficult for me to write the review. As a book, the writing was great, and I liked the characters. It was just the subject matter that threw the whole thing off for me. It’s hard to even sum it up, like you said, without revealing anything. I think there are some people that would definitely find this book difficult to read because of the subject matter. Good idea about adding the warning. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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