The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls

Amy Engel

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.

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“With more twists than a bag of pretzels, this compelling family saga may make you question what you think you know about your own relatives.”

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

Advance Galley Reviews

A good book with excellent plot line and beautiful characters.

The Prologue of this extremely dark story is written in the first person point of view of Lane. The book is written in alternate chapters of Then and Now. The Then refers to Lane’s first summer at Roanoke. The Now takes place 11 years later, when she returns to Roanoke. The Now is in present tense, the Then in past tense. Chapters alternate between Then and Now, each Then helping us understand the Now and vice versa. Lane, like us, receives hints about the truth from the start, from her grandmother. How all the girls look alike. We come to know the truth even before the Lane of the Then chapters learned of it. This knowledge comes to us through the third-person past tense accounts of all the other Roanoke girls, Jane, Sophia, Penelope, Eleanor and Camilla. But we still read on, anxious to know what happened to Allegra in the Now, whether Lane and Cooper will ever get together again, and how Lane figured it out back in the Then. Through the course of the book, we develop a grudging liking for Lane, a woman who is much more comfortable with cruelty than with kindness. My only grouse against the book was that there was far too much swearing and too much sex. Fortunately, it wasn't gratuitous. The Roanoke Girls reminds us of how the wounds attained in childhood leave their scars behind all through life. Read Full & Detailed review at

I feel like I can't say anything about this without giving away juicy spoilers. It's a family drama with a whodunnit aspect and part teen romance in a town where there is an overload of skeletons in the closets. This novel was uncomfortable to read and I couldn't put it down. I cannot compliment the author enough. I want to read her YA novels after being introduced to her first adult narrative. The themes dealing with family, psychology and women's studies would be intriguing to dissect in a university class. I'll probably re-read it again in the future, but not in a public forum because my exclamations of "Wow!" and "OHMIGOSH" are probably not that accepted in a public forum. Future readers, beware and enjoy!

I enjoyed this book. The twists and turns within the story kept me reading long into the morning hours. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a shocker!

I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to read (albeit a bit slow at times) but very enjoyable. There are parts that made me cringe, maybe even out loud, but I would definitely recommend this book to many people.

The Roanoke Girls is a dark and disturbing read about about an intriguing family. It's a well written twisted story. The character development is amazing. The pace is slow, but Amy Engel keeps her readers curious. The subject matter is difficult, so this won't be a book for everyone. I had quite a bit of trouble reading about it and what happened to some of the main characters made my heart ache. The Roanoke Girls is a thought-provoking book that will definitely be talked about.

Thank you for the opportunity to read The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. This novel takes place in the present and past. Each chapter takes you back in time to the main character, Lane's past. I really like this method of writing - it develops the character and helps the reader understand the character's current state. This is not an easy read and there are many characters to get to know. All in all, if you can get thru the subject matter, it is a very well written novel. Lane ran away from home (don't want to give away too much). Lane has never really found herself and lives in LA. Her grandfather contacts her to tell her that another young woman, Allegra, has left home too. He wants Lane to come home to help find Allegra. Lane's dark past weaves with the current time. There are secrets - dark ones - that affect this family's past. I think Englel does a good job engaging the reader to understand the characters and what drives them. Some parts of this novel were difficult to comprehend, and the subject matter is not for everyone. I liked this book. Tough subject matter. Not for the weak of heart.

I received an electronic downloadable ARC of this book. I found The Roanoke Girls a very interesting read. The format switches characters each chapter from present day Lane to Lane when she was 15 years old and to several of the deceased Roanoke girls. A little confusing keeping up with who each of the other Roanoke girls were at first but a great format to give the reader more insight as to what these other "Roanoke Girls" lives were really like and their emotional state. A book that deals with a very difficult topic but it does so in a way that keeps the reader interested and without too many hard to read details. I enjoyed reading the book.

I have to echo some of the other reviews that have said oh my gosh how can I have liked this book as much as I did? But I did! Yep this one had some really uncomfortable subjects. And yep, I cringed, a lot. But I also really liked it. It sucked me in from the first sentence and I had to know what was up with the Roanoke Girls. The finding out what was up with them was tough. But I also really grew to love them, especially Lane. She was the one who ran, escaped, but came home and found a second chance. I loved her toughness but loved discovering her vulnerability too. She was pretty fascinating, this girl who discovers her families secrets. There was a beautiful second chance love story here too that I delighted over. One of my favorite storylines and this one was written so well. I enjoyed this one, and I recommend it to anyone who isn't scared away by a pretty sensitive subject which could be a trigger for some.

I didnt get a chance to finish this one, but good news I was able to request it through Blogging for Books :) I look forward to writing my review following that point. Thank you!

I was excited to see a suspense novel set in Kansas! Unfortunately, though, I don't think THE ROANOKE GIRLS will endear anyone to my state. Oh boy. Considering that the big dark secret is revealed in the beginning, I wouldn't classify this book as suspense; it's more of a major dysfunctional family drama. The subject matter is disturbing, but what really bugged me was that everyone was so matter-of-fact about it. That's just how it was, and the characters weren't particularly offended by it, at least not to the level you'd think they'd be. Weird. The story held my interest, and I was very curious to learn why cousin Allegra disappeared, and to see if Lane would be able to escape Roanoke again. In the end, I guess I was hoping for a little something more. I've seen many positive reviews for this book, and some negative. I'm somewhere in the middle, just like Kansas. ;-) 3 stars.

*Special thanks to Penguin Random House/Penguin’s First to Read & Amy Engel for the eGalley of The Roanoke Girls* This novel was incredible. I was intrigued by the synopsis and the novel just jumped from there and was more intriguing than I imagined. I COULD NOT put this book down and found myself reading well past midnight multiple times. I read this book in 4 days. The structure is fantastic and so easy to follow. I never once felt lost or confused which can sometimes happen when shifting between time periods. The story itself is heart wrenching, charming, mystifying, and incredible. There were times when I felt like I was standing right beside Lane and experiencing it all with her. I would definitely recommend this book to others. I would say, its not PG, so be prepared for that. But, it's unique and unlike anything I've ever read. I cannot wait to read more works by Amy Engel. ????

*HUGE thanks to Penguin Random House/Penguin’s First to Read & Amy Engel for the eGalley of The Roanoke Girls PLOT I picked up The Roanoke Girls not knowing a thing about the plot or premise other than it was making waves in the blogosphere & sometimes that makes for the best possible reading experience. I’m glad I had no clue what I was getting into, this book definitely was dark & twisted with a bit of shock factor working for it. Told in first person point of view, the main protagonist Lane is living her life in NYC when she gets a call from her grandad letting her know that her cousin has gone missing & that she needs to come home. Lane reluctantly heads back to Roanoke, the one place she swore to never return to. There are a ton of secrets, mystery, hurt, and cover-ups in Roanoke that Lane can’t seem to escape. I immediately started asking myself questions as to what could possibly make Lane stay away from her grandparents home. She opted to leave to NYC where life is not at as easy as it would be if she’d stayed at Roanoke with her wealthy family. As the plot unravels you realize how deep the secrets go & that Lane is just one from generations of Roanoke women that can’t seem to escape the manipulation and abuse in the Roanoke home. I was not expecting this book to go the direction that it did & yes I am purposely being vague because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone trying to read it. It is the darkest book I’ve read to date and seriously made me question the psyche of these characters from all angles. The air of mystery is held throughout the book until the very end since we are from the very start trying to figure out what happened to Allegra? did she run away? or is she dead in a ditch somewhere like everyone thought she was fated to end up? & while Lane attempts to solve this mystery, we are also being exposed to the family secrets one by one… CHARACTERS I don’t believe I’ve ever come across a cast of characters this messed up smh. Our main protagonist Lane is carrying some serious baggage from childhood that stems back to her relationship with her mother. Lane’s mom fled Roanoke while pregnant with her but she never truly escaped her past & lived a life of sadness where she cried daily and couldn’t actually have a relationship with Lane. Her mom carried the Roanoke secrets buried deep within her & committed suicide when she was 15 which meant that Lane would be sent to live with her grandparents (next of kin) back at Roanoke. The book is told by a now adult Lane who has flashbacks to the summer she arrived at Roanoke after her mother committed suicide. We meet Allegra in the flashbacks & for those of you who have watched the show Pretty Little Liars, Allegra is the equivalent of Allison & that’s as close a comparison as I’ve ever seen one haha! She is energetic & oftentimes frenetic. Allegra is ecstatic to have Lane join them at Roanoke & we get to follow the girls that summer while they date & even fall in love. We also get to see how the extent of the abuse they’ve experienced affects their relationships with their boyfriends at the time. Lane considers herself unworthy and therefore sets out to destroy whatever good she comes across through toxic behavior. I am not kidding when I say EVERYONE in this book is messed up but the Roanoke girls have it the worse. Paraphrasing here but one of the characters actually mentioned that there are messed up families & then there’s reallllly messed up when he referred to Lane’s own family. They were all twisted enough to stay in my psyche for quite a bit, this book won’t be for everyone but I found these characters interesting & they kept me wondering at all hours of the night. WRITING & FINAL THOUGHTS The formatting of this book kept me completely captivated, alternating between the present & the summer Lane arrived in Roanoke was interesting enough. However, I also really enjoyed the excerpts written in third person POV for all of the Roanoke girls who suffered the same fate while living in the Roanoke household. I couldn’t put this book down for too long, I needed to find out the truth but also Lane felt like a loose cannon the majority of the time & I couldn’t keep my eyes from reading just to see what she would do next. A page turner that for sure will make you uncomfortable but I think this speaks to the authors skilled writing. This book won’t be for everyone however, I enjoyed it probably because I gravitate towards complex characters. Given this is on a whole other level of complicated but still, it made me feel several emotions & that was enough for me to know that this was a solid read my bookish peeps ;) Have any of you read The Roanoke Girls? If so, what are your thoughts? If you reviewed The Roanoke Girls, feel free to drop that link down below & i’ll swing by your corner of the inter-webs :)

Haunting are the secrets some families keep. Devastating are the toll those secrets take. And maddening are the feelings one gets when reading the twisted and revolting tale of the Roanoke Girls. It is at once a book that you want to toss across the room and a book that won't let you go until you've "turned" the last page. I couldn't put it down. Lane, as she revisits her shortly-lived one time home, recounts the summer she "came home" to her family and then fled that family just as her mother did many years before.....the year Lane was born. At times you want to pull Lane out of the pages and give her a much needed hug and at others, you want do anything but hug her as she takes one misstep after another. Alternating between the present search for her missing cousin, Allegra, and her memories of the summer she most likely wishes never happened, will Lane be able to find Allegra and once again escape the reality that follows each of the Roanoke girls? Or, will Lane get sucked back into the dark truth and become just one more of the family who continues the disturbing legacy that was born generations before her? Will Lane's picture end up on the wall with the rest of the Roanoke girls?

A highly sensual, twisting tale of a family of women who share a deadly secret. The few who managed to escape the family's horrors will return home by tragedy. The twisting story is told in flashbacks to the first summer when Lane first meets her family, and her cousin Allegra. Lane recounts the family's sordid history as she reveals the inner turmoil of her cousin. Lane is drawn back to her family's farm when her cousin Allegra goes missing. Her childhood is retold with the same fears, eagerness, and curiosity of our teenage years with the uncomfortable and gritty growing pains of adulthood. Lane will be forced to reconsider what she's running away from and if she's strong enough to face her fears.

This book drew me in and didn't let go until the last page. The book is told in alternating timelines of past and present. Lane is a Roanoke girl and that means something very special to the patriarch, her grandfather Yates, just as her cousin Allegra is also special. The story follows Lane and Allegra on the one summer they spent together in Kansas on the family homestead and then moves to the present day where Lane reluctantly returns after Allegra goes missing. The story should not be absorbing as it is tragic in how far a family will go to hide its dirty secrets and how outward appearances can be deceiving in what the townsfolk see in Yates and his wife and the reality. This was definitely not a cozy or feel-good read, but the author was able to make a compelling read without excuses or rationalizations.

I received a free digital ARC from the Penguin First to Read program in exchange for an unbiased review. The Roanoke Girls is an atmospheric mystery. A woman has disappeared from her isolated existence on a small Kansas farm. Her estranged cousin Lane is called back home by her Grandfather to provide family support during the search for the missing woman. The two main points of view are from Lane, and they alternate back and forth between the present and the single summer in the past which Lane spent at the family estate. There are also some chapters thrown in from the more distant past, representing earlier female relatives of Lane who either died or disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Gradually, the horrible secrets hidden by this seemingly mundane family are revealed. I selected this book because it was based in Kansas, and I live in a small town in Kansas. It's always interesting to see an author's representation of a setting that is familiar to me. And after reading this book, I have to say that I think that the small town life represented by Lane, the main character, could be true, although it does not match my experience of small town life. And it makes me really sad to think that this could actually be someone's life. I was initially turned off by what seemed to me to be the pure evil secret hidden by this family. It was multigenerational and just awful, and I did not understand why Lane didn't just disclose everything to the authorities right away. She seemed complicit in keeping the secrets. But as I kept reading, I realized the author did a good job revealing the complex emotions involved in this type of situation. From my outside perspective with more knowledge from the additional points of view, I could see the pure evil in this family. As a child or a teen in that situation, evil and love become intertwined. I was happy that Lane was finally able to start coming to terms with her family secrets by the end of the novel.

3 stars A nice disturbing novel. So parts were hard to get through, especially if you have a sensitive side. However, the author handled it nicely and Lane's story was interesting to follow. A decent read if you want to get into true dark side of humans.

This books needs more warning than hints about "dark truths" and "fierce and terrible love." If it had that warning, I wouldn't have read it. No spoilers, there's a crime being committed against young girls in this book. Again and again, and it's the driving force behind the book, so there's no avoiding it. This particular crime really disgusts me, so no matter how well written the book was, or how fascinating the characters, it all came down to me disliking the heck out of the criminal, for all the 'charm' they had. Read at your own risk, or seek out spoilers.

I think I've read this book before but I have no idea where. It's like a deja-vu. This story was very heart wrenching and made me cry and think about my past. Certain characters I really didn't like. Even though this story wasn't based on my life I felt like it was sort of. The way Grandad's(Yates) character was and always has been was terrible! Sleeping with almost all his children was disgusting! And Gran(Lillian), was a wretched woman. Sharon not a nice person either. Who would hire a servant who doesn't know how to cook dinners? Lol Since I'm a child of molestation, when I first started reading I wanted to stop. I wanted to stop other times too. Gave me the heebie jeebies. But the reason why I continued to read it, I wanted to find out for sure if I've read it before, and to see what really happens to Lane and the other characters, and also I continued to read because for some odd reason I felt just like Lane did as a teenager, and when I was pregnant at 19/20 yrs old. Not being like other girls at that age. Her attitude towards life. Giving into boys or men without saying no when I didn't really want it. I'd just lay there. Not ready to parent once having a child. But I didn't give my child up. I tried being a parent but I couldn't so I let my mom do it until I felt I could. But for some odd reason ever since I thought I could, I know and knew my heart wasn't still in the right place because I keep looking back to my roots, my past. There's still that little child that was molested by 2 people who knew me well. I'm still trying to parent but I think I'm still a little lost because of that. I'm learning and growing slowly again. Lanes childhood was taken from her and so was mine. She reminds me of all the people I pissed off or pushed out of my life because of harsh words I didn't mean but I said anyways. This story makes me wonder what happens to Lane and Cooper on their journey going forward. I wouldn't recommend this book to people who have really harsh judgment about stories like these, and sore, sour stomachs. This author should write a sequel to this story. I'd be grateful. Thank you for letting me read this again. Brought harsh memories but as they say, the past is in the past.

Man. This book makes you cringe and it makes you think. The novel is one you want to throw down because it makes you feel dirty, and it is one you can't stop reading. The story is one where the pain of the characters can be felt in every word and where you want to believe there isn't such evil in the world. This is a must read book.

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel is a hard book to review. I could not stop turning the pages but I was cringing throughout half the book. Following Lane's storyline of finding out what happened to her family member, Allegra, and then getting tidbits of the other Roanoke girls, altogether told a crazy, depressing story of one really messed up family. The author does an amazing job writing about something that is not an easy topic to handle and I had to see where the story would take me, even with something that makes my stomach turn. I will be selective about who I recommend this book to.

I had a hard time getting into this book. It started off well, but it just never captured my interest.

Very disturbing. I don't think a single character in this story really gets to be happy. I liked the chapters from the other Roanoke Girls. Their perspectives really help the story along. Without those chapters this book might not have kept my interest.

I had to wait a couple days to let this book set with me before writing a review. You are living Lane's journey and pain. There are parts of the journey that are not a surprise nor shocking plot twist, but you still have a desire to find out why and what led to the family secret. I'm glad I spent some time with Lane and Allegra. I was given an advance copy from First to Read for an honest review.

I was bored out of my mind.

I cannot rate this book. It involves the most taboo subject but I was captivated by the mystery and by how Lane would escape going a Roanoke girl.

I found Amy Engel's novel, "The Roanoke Girls", thoroughly engrossing and impossible to put down. The storytelling is excellent and the characters are real and relatable. Even though the main plot was a bit predictable, that did not ruin the satisfaction of seeing the truth unravel bit by creepy bit throughout the book. The tragic lives of the Roanoke girls lingered for days on my mind as I worried about them almost as if they were real. Although the subject matter is difficult to think about, Engel's writing treats it with a matter-of-fact clarity that neither judges nor forgives. I heartily recommend this book to my friends and fellow readers.

I received an eARC of this book from First to Read. I am, as always, extremely grateful. Summary: When Lane’s mother commits suicide, she finds that she has family in Kansas that want her. Roanoke is like nothing she’s ever seen before. Part of her loves it, surrounded by a cousin and granddad that love her, considered one of the beautiful and mysterious Roanoke girls. There is something going on though. Allegra shows her the wall- pics of all the Roanoke girls that have gone before- dead, ran, dead, ran and so on. According to her, Roanoke girls don’t last long here. Her mother being one of the ones that ran, Lane always wondered why. There was also the question of why she behaved as she did, always sad. Crying and angry. When she discovers the truth behind life at Roanoke Lane runs too. Eleven years later, Allegra is missing and Lane is back at Roanoke to find out what happened. Nothing has changed, not really. Tommy, even though he’s married, is still tied to Allegra and may be one of the few that truly want to find her. Granddad is heartbroken, but seems more interested in keeping Lane. Then there’s Cooper, the bad boy she had loved and left, now a man who has turned himself around. Can this new, mature Cooper, keep Lane safe and sane while she solves this mystery, or will Roanoke lure her back into it’s embrace? My thoughts: I actually loved the writing style here; with it’s unique ways of allowing you to know other characters. The story line was creepy and disturbing, but oh-so-good! I could not put this one down! Now, I can’t stress this enough, there is a lot of very disturbing material. This is not one for the squeamish or light hearted. In fact, I would say that this is not a book appropriate for a teen. That’s just my opinion. For me, though, I loved it. Five stars all the way- just know what you’re getting into. As far as the adult content goes there’s language, violence and a large amount of sexual content. I’m giving this one a nine, the content is disturbing.

This is not Roanoke Virginia. It is Kansas and the multiple generations of this family hide a terrible secret. Lane's mother had run away from the family and the secret before she was born. Unable to escape the memories, the mother kills herself. Lane is shipped off to her grandparents. Another granddaughter already lives with them and shows Lane a collage of photographs that is hanging in the hallway. All the children and grandchildren, all females, are in the photos. All are now dead, except for these two girls. It is a frightening and difficult tale. I read it in an afternoon. The book is extremely well written but some may find the subject matter too disturbing. My thanks to the author and the Penguin First to Read program for a complimentary copy.

Absolutely amazing book. I loved the writing, the story line, the....everything! One of the best books I've read so far this year. I'm excited to hear more from this author. Read it right away...go buy it won't regret it!!!

I didn't like this book, it dragged and the subject matter was offensive.

I had an extremely difficult time getting into this book. It just was not made for me!

Can anyone really write a good thriller with three generations of incest as the central theme? I asked myself if the book would have been more compelling if the plot had been woven around a dark cult figure, rather than the family patriarch, at the center of this tale. Perhaps but the tale would need to have been really dark and scary and this book veers more towards YA territory and leaves the evil patriarch oddly unscathed and barely judged. I kept waiting for something bad to befall him and redeem the story. I am still waiting. In this alt-world, vice is nice but incest is best. Better books call to me from the TBR list on my reader.

"I dream of the Roanoke girls, lost and broken. Staring eyes and crumpled bodies. Jane. Sophia. Penelope. Eleanor. Camille. Emmeline. Allegra. They are calling for me, begging me to help them. I search and search, but never find a single one." This book fascinated me and I couldn't stop turning pages or should I say swiping the screen? It is about Lane Roanoke, who has to go live with her Grandparents. Her cousin, Allegra, also lives there. It is uncanny how much they look alike. But Lane doesn't have time to try and figure that mystery out because she is fighting her own demons. Her mom committed suicide and just like the other Roanoke girls who have died, there seems to have been a dark secret as to the reason why. "Sometimes it's a revelation, even to me, how much more comfortable I am with cruelty than with kindness. " Allegra mysteriously goes missing, just like all the other Roanoke girls. As Lane tries to uncover where Allegra could have gone, she also uncovers disturbing family secrets. The author created wonderful characters that you can't help love and hate at the same time. The writing was beautiful and lyrical. "I'm not running. I know running doesn't get you anywhere. You can't outrun what's inside of you. You can only acknowledge it, work around it, try to turn it into something better." Each Roanoke girl's story is told throughout the book to help give clues as to how and why Allegra is gone. I highly recommend this mystery thriller.

I found it extremely hard to make it even halfway through The Roanoke Girls. The pacing of the story was very off; the plot felt extremely slow, and yet I felt like I was being spoon-fed information about the family mystery too early on in the story. The subject matter of this book made it even more difficult for me to finish it. But that being said, the writing flows very well. I also really enjoyed the way that the story was being told through Lane's point of view in two different periods of her life; I liked seeing the dichotomy of herself ten summers ago and herself in the present day. And while the characters weren't particularly likeable for the most part, I still cared about them and wanted to know how they handle the horrifying situation going on in the Roanoke home.

This was an incredibly well-written book, but sometimes difficult to read due to it's "intense" content. I obtained an advance copy of this book through Penguin's "First to Read" Program, and really enjoyed the book overall. The writing is phenomenal, and it is truly a "page-turner". By the time I got to the "disturbing" content, I was so engrossed in the book that I couldn't put it down. I had to finish, even if it had some difficult subject matter. The Roanoke Girls were individuals, yet were a group with the same secret. How they dealt with the secret was all different, and led to the myriad of themes: escapism, family turmoil, jealousy, insecurity, and both physical and emotional abuse. This book is not for the weak of heart, but it well-written and a powerful commentary on perspective.

Roanoke Girls is a review that is hard to write. The book is definitely a surprise and I was wildly uncomfortable while reading parts of it. That being said, it was impossible not to become engrossed in the story and await the outcome. This book is definitely not for everyone but I think many will be glad they took the time to read it. Thank you Penguin Random House for the opportunity.

I really got pulled into the story from the start. This book is about a really messed up family and the mysterious disappearance of a young woman named Allegra. Even though the story involves a very sensitive topic, I was still very wrapped up in it enough to have to know what would happen next, and to get the answers to the questions I had. I would read more by Amy Engel. She knows how to keep your attention. Thank you First To Read and Amy Engel.

THE ROANOKE GIRLS caught me by surprise with its taboo theme. It definitely wasn't the kind of story I thought it would be. I was uncomfortable at times but still continued reading because I grew to care about the Roanoke girls and their plight. My thanks to Penguins First to Read for the ARC…

I probably wouldn't have picked this book to read if I knew the subject matter. That said, I really enjoyed it. Very suspenseful with the alternating stories of current day versus when Lane and Allegra were teenagers, with back stories of the other characters woven in. Good character development. You'll find it hard to put down!

This book is a fast and captivating read, but also a rather disturbing one. Amy Engel does a great job setting the pace and development of the plot with flashback chapters every other chapter, thus changing between "now" and "then", providing useful background information that slowly but surely provides the reader with pieces of a puzzle that is gradually solved. The language and story is quite graphic, but readers with the stomach to get through it all is in for a rare treat, and I was hooked if not from page 1 then from at least very early on. Fans of Gillian Flynn, Fiona Barton and others in the genre should definitely try out this book.

Still reeling as I just finished read the book. I don't know what I was expecting but it wasn't exactly this. I'm not disappointed, I was surprised. The story is of all the girls who are connected to the Roanoke property, thus the Roanoke girls. And yes, they are connected but that's one of the mysteries the reader has to unravel. This is a dark, twisted story, nothing light about the topic within. It's well thought out and you can see Allegra and Lane as they spent a summer together in the family home. As Lane goes back to help Allegra, you can feel her pain and reluctance to re-enter the life she left. I found it hard to put down as I followed the tragic and shocking story of their lives and the family.

This was a very interesting and shocking book to read. Sadly what happened in the book does happen in the world today. The author did a great job of pulling the reader into the story and bridging the present with the past. As much as I couldn't believe what was occurring in the book I could not put it down. Just when I thought I figured out all the secrets the author reveals new information.

Using a very taboo subject, incest, Amy Engle writes a thrilling tale. I was hooked by the first chapter and could not put it down until I finished the last chapter. There were so many twists and turns that I had no idea how the story would end until I read the last chapter. The characters were so vibrant. This thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat from the first word to the last.

It is very well written and it will draw you in even if the subject matter is disturbing. Lane's character drew me in and I wanted to find out how it was going to end.

I read this book as part of Penguin Random House First to Read program. I will warn people that the topic of this story, the family secret, is hard to swallow. It's disturbing yet keeps you intrigued. The story was well written and the characters were well formed. I did have a hard time reading parts. The way the Grandfather pulls you (the reader), and the characters (the girls), in emotionally is gut wrenching. You find yourself disgusted yet drawn to him still. The ending was alright. Felt like there were a few holes in it, but all in all a decent read.

This book is disturbing. I definitely was not prepared for what the secret turned out to be. It was an extremely well written book and I felt that it kept your interest from the beginning. I will admit that I was disappointed in how the whole search for Allegra ended, but I do applaud Lane for staying until the whole mystery behind her death was resolved. I was also glad that Lane did not fall victim to her Grandfather's charm like all the other Roanoke girls. Her grandmother, on the other hand, sickened me to no end. I guess love will make you do crazy things sometimes.

This story is full of plenty of triggers that might set people off. So be wary. I thought this story was going to be something different. There were things in it that made me uncomfortable.

Solidly written but this book just didn't appeal to me.

I was surprised by this book. There were two things that normally would not have appealed to me -- the subject matter and the flashback method of writing. Both of those items worked exceptionally well in this book. I read every time I had a few free minutes. The author made me care about the characters. There was a twist at the end that I did not see coming. Not only would I recommend this book but I have already done so.

This book was very well written and draws you in until the very end. Lane showed incredible bravery several times throughout the story. The sad truth is it was believable. I would say that there should be some kind of label or warning for those that may have experienced something akin to what happens to the Roanoke girls. I look forward to more novels from this author.

This book is being promoted in the suspense/thriller genre and I'm not sure it fits. I would say this is more of a family drama. Most definitely about family and most definitely drama. Since you know very early on what the family secrets are I don't think it can really be called suspenseful either. But if you like stories about dysfunctional families you will eat this one up quickly. This family's disfunction is palpable, it made me physically uncomfortable. Honestly it was so uncomfortable to read I had to wonder how completely believable it was. But barring any disbelief, this book is so well written and the mystery is put together so tightly that, if you can stomach the more unsavory theme of the story, it is really worth reading.

I was truly drawn to finding out the secret of the Roanoke girls and what happened to Allegra. When I discovered the secret, I was disturbed and felt strongly for each of the girls that had fell victim to their grandfather's charm. The fact that Gran let all of this happen in order to keep him was truly appalling. The book was very solidly written. And would definitely be interested in reading more from this author.

Wow! I loved this was disturbing in its subject matter but so well written. Once I started I couldn't stop reading. Lane was a gripping character and I found myself really invested in her. I can't wait to see what author, Amy Engel does next!

What can I say about this book? Yikes. Wow. No! Run! I truly could not put it down. It is written from the perspective of Lane, a girl who goes to live with her estranged grandparents after her mother commits suicide. She is trying to find love among this new family but ends up covering dark secrets. Over a decade later her cousin and friend goes missing and she returns to her grandparent's home once again. Sprinkled throughout the book are the stories of other women in Lane's family. I really enjoyed this book! It didn't have a bunch of twists and turns like some mysteries, in face the biggest secret is hinted at throughout the book, but you're still left wondering how exactly it is going to end and which character is the worst. It is such a well-written novel. I hope we hear more from Amy Engel!

The book is well written, very interesting but disturbing. I can't say for sure I would have wanted to read it had I known ahead of time what the secret of Roanoke was but I do not regret reading it. I am interested in reading more from this author.

I have mixed feelings about this book. It is written well, however the subject matter is hard to get through. You go through the feelings of the main character and understand why she feels the way she does. I can see how it would be difficult for some people to get through this book and it does have many issues that may trigger some people. I enjoyed it and got so wrapped up in the story that I couldn't put it down for the last 50 pages. I would recommend this book, but with a side of caution for people that may have experienced issues presented

If I had known what this book was about before I started, I don’t think I would have read it and there should probably be a trigger warning right on the cover. But it is well-written and the mystery was enough to keep me interested.


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