“The girls of the Roanoke family – beautiful, rich, mysterious – seem to have it all. But there’s a dark truth about them that’s never spoken. Either the girls run away… or they die.”
I was kindly gifted a £15 Amazon voucher for Christmas, which owing to my new year’s resolution to read lots more books in 2018, I loaded straight onto my kindle and set about roaming through the monthly deals. I’d seen a lot of talk around this book and when it popped up for £1.99 I thought I’d give it a go.
A lot of what I’d read about this book gave reference to The Girls by Emma Cline which I read on my summer holiday last year. It was a book which I really really wanted to love but just didn’t grip me in the way it had with others. Going into The Roanoke Girls I was hoping this wouldn’t have a similar sort of effect.
It’s not a book that’s slow to get going in any means, the first chapter really sets you up for what’s going to come out of it. I should say now that I would put a trigger warning on it, it’s definitely not for everybody as the main theme of the book is sexual abuse. The further I got, the more I wondered how dark and twisted this story was going to get. I had a conversation with my friend Anouk about how much we like strange stories like this and she asked me if I had any recommendations for anything else similar. I’ve always been a fan of the thriller, in the same way I like crime and murder mystery TV, I just find it much more interesting than gushy romance (although don’t get me wrong, love me a good chick flick)! But honestly this book has it all. At times it is utterly gross but it drags you in in a way that you sort of wish it wouldn’t.
Chronologically the book jumps between present and past, with short snappy chapters added in about each individual Roanoke girl which is a great tool for keeping up with who’s who in the Family Roanoke. Amy’s characterisation of not only people, but places really gives you a great feel for Osage Flats, the fictional Kansas town. The claustrophobic, everyone knows everyone, rural town creates an incredible backdrop from which to tell this tale of love, despair and darkness. I don’t want to give away any spoilers in this post, however I felt myself begging my way towards a happy ending for these characters that I’d become attached to. This is the sort of book that I yearn to pick up every time I need something new to read, darkly thrilling, suspenseful, as if the pages almost turn themselves. I think if you enjoyed The Girls you will enjoy this even more, I know I definitely did!
Let me know if you’ve read The Roanoke Girls or if you have recommendations for anything of a similar genre that I would enjoy next. You can also find me over on GoodReads – jordysniper where I gave this book 5 stars *****.