The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel


Published by Hodder and Stoughton on 7 March 2017 and available to buy here


The Roanoke girls seem to have it all. But there’s a dark truth about them which is never spoken. Every girl either runs away, or dies.

Lane is one of the lucky ones. When she was fifteen, over one long, hot summer at her grandparents’ estate in rural Kansas, she found out what it really means to be a Roanoke girl. Lane ran, far and fast. Until eleven years later, when her cousin Allegra goes missing – and Lane has no choice but to go back.

She is a Roanoke girl.

Is she strong enough to escape a second time?

My thoughts

I can’t remember the last time I read something that left me so conflicted. That is the power of The Roanoke Girls. It is the new Flowers in the Attic for generation Z. A book that lifts a lid on a horrifying taboo. It might be too much for some readers to deal with. You have been warned.

This is the tale of one family and their terrible legacy. We get to know Roanoke, through the eyes of Lane, a fifteen year old girl. Roanoke is the family home of one Yates Roanoke, a rich patriarch who lives according to his own rules. On the death of her mother, she finds herself relocating and moving in with her grandparents and cousin. Lane soon discovers the secret of the Roanoke Girls. Ten years later, Lane has left Roanoke and has made a life for herself. When her cousin goes missing, Lane returns to the family home searching for answers.

Engel delivers a haunting and sad story of abuse within the family. I was very drawn to Lane, with her coping mechanisms for living in a dysfunctional home. This is dark. Very dark! We learn the secrets of Roanoke. This is not the Waltons. There are no happy endings.

Uncomfortable and challenging. I might just need therapy, after reading The Roanoke Girls!




About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
This entry was posted in psychological and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel

  1. Lovely review, I’m starting this one today!

  2. I’m hoping to post my review today or tomorrow, but I wanted to say that I have conflicted feelings about this one as well. It’s definitely NOT the Waltons!

  3. Kay says:

    I’ve got this one and am intending to read pretty soon. I am old enough to remember when FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC initially was published. Oh my word! We were all agape at it. So, that gives me a bit of hint. Glad to be forewarned. Did you read THE GIRL BEFORE by Delaney? There was some stuff there that really bothered me.

    • Christine says:

      I remember furtively reading Flowers in the Attic in the 80s. I was so innocent then. I haven’t read The Girl Before yet. I am now intrigued…

  4. Glad to be forewarned by your review – I’d just been admiring the cover – now I MUST read it for myself!

  5. crimeworm says:

    As soon as you mentioned Flowers In The Attic I figured out to what you were referring! A fantastic crime novel used it last year, but as it was the big reveal at the end I can’t name it, although those of you who’ve read it will know the book I mean! Shades of Brookside too. Is it the last taboo?

  6. I have just read and reviewed this one too. I shouldn’t love it but I do. Great book but so twisted!

Comments are closed.