I will state when I requested this book from Blogging for Books, I just knew it was a mystery. Past that, I had no idea what The Roanoke Girls was about. I didn't read one review and went into the book cold. Boy howdy was it a trip.
At the heart of the book, we have two cousins- Lane and Allegra living in rural Kansas. Lane is taken in by her grandparents to live with her cousin after her mother's suicide. We also have their boyfriends from the past.
I write that because the book takes place along two timelines- Then- in the past when Lane arrives in Kansas and lives, dates, and has fun with her cousin. The other timeline is Now- Lane has run away from Kansas, but is forced back because Allegra has disappeared. Allegra's old boyfriend is now married and the head of Allegra's disappearance. Lane's old boyfriend shows up too and healing begins as they reconnect.
I will warn you, do not read too many reviews on this one. In fact, the first review on Amazon spoils within the first paragraph the big secret about the Roanoke Girls. It isn't a difficult secret to figure out, in fact you will figure it out from some of the interludes contained within the book about other girls in the family, but go in a bit cold.
I found this to be a page turner that dips in pace quite a bit, but I kept reading and reading. It moves quickly, even in the slower parts. This might be considered a good beach read or stay in while raining outside type of read.
The two girls at the heart of the book are the draw. The fact that Allegra has disappeared can be for any number of reasons as she isn't the most stable of characters. One moment she can fly into a rage at Lane while a few minutes later will be begging for forgiveness and tells Lane she loves her. She can take off in a moment's notice and runs on pure id, so to speak. So, her "Now" mystery is what is the draw as the "then" portions build the characters.
As stated though, be ready. This is not a nice read. There is a darkness that haunts this family. While one can figure what that darkness is very quickly, it is never graphic. I appreciated that. It could have gone really dark really quickly and it takes its time.
I am not going to say this was a great book, but it was a fun and good read. I am in the midst of reading heavy non fiction, so it was the perfect palate cleanser.
I gave this one 3.5 stars.
I want to thank Blogging for Book for a copy of the book. I received it for free in exchange for an honest review.
Here is your Amazon link- The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel