Well hell, this book was weird. Not only does it switch time eras but it also gives backstory or further information about a character that was talked about in the previous chapters. In the beginning, I didn’t really like this very much but as I kept reading, I ended up really liking the writing style. Just the story was weird. I get that with a book called The Roanoke Girls, I should have expected something a bit odd but this definitely exceeded my expectations.
*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and that fact in no way affected my review in any way*
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.
I will end up talking about some spoilers later on in this review but I will add a header in order to let you know when so you can avoid them. This book wasn’t long, only about 350 pages so I read it in about three days. I found myself thinking about this book during the day and I would always be excited to read it when I had time. I read almost half of the book in one night so maybe I read it in two days.
I really liked the main character, Lane, because she was different than any other female lead that I’ve ever read about. She was promiscuous and didn’t really care about what anyone else thought about her. While she wasn’t like Allegra, she was headstrong and thought for herself. Lane wasn’t scared to do things that would get her in trouble and didn’t hesitate when it came to supporting Allegra. She was someone I could find myself relating to.
Holy hell but the “big secret” that the Roanoke family was keeping from everyone was just wow. It was obvious what the secret was from the beginning of the book but I won’t mention exactly what it is until I recommend it because I will add a trigger warning because I’m sure some people won’t want to read about it. That being said, the author doesn’t make the subject a detailed part of the book. It’s there, but it doesn’t overpower the book. The secret was one of the things that kept me reading because I wanted to find out what would happen if people found out. I wanted to know if Lane would tell anyone.
Okay, the next paragraph is going to mention exactly what the secret is and a few other spoilers so if you would prefer to avoid them, just skip the paragraph.
So okay wow incest. Gross right? Well, it’s even worse when you’re sleeping with every single one of your daughters while your wife is in the same house. I had my suspicions about the grandfather when he would do certain things and the way the nan would act just made everything odd. Then the nan kills some of them?? Like sure you’re jealous but you just killed your own daughters. And then she doesn’t tell anyone?? Girl you need to get your shit together because this is some messed up shit. The girls all slept with their dad/grandad willingly so at least there’s that. If there can really be any positive side to this aspect of the story.
Okay, the next paragraph will contain a trigger warning but other than that, no spoilers.
TW: this book contains incest and mentions of abuse so if you do not want to be reading about either of those things, this may not be the book for you.
I don’t know if I would really recommend this book to any of my friends because of how weird it was. I mean it was interesting and held my attention throughout the novel but I don’t think I would ever give this book to a friend and tell them to read it. This is a fast paced book though and would be great if you are in between books or just want a quick contemporary.