Wow. This was not at all what I was expecting, and it was really, really good and quite intense. Lane and her mother Camilla lived a very unhappy existence right up to the point When Camilla ends her own misery, sending Lane to live at Roanoke, the place her mother described as a nightmare.
It is at Roanoke that she meets her cousin Allegra, who looks so much like Lane and her mom, and also where she learns that all the Roanoke babies are girls and they all either leave forever or die very young at Roanoke. It is the Roanoke Curse. Ten years later Lane is one of those who left, but she is called back because Allegra, who would never leave on her own, is missing.
The chapters alternate between “Then,” which is about Lane’s time at Roanoke and “Now” which is ten years later, as well as brief excerpts from the thoughts and lives of other Roanoke girls. Through past and present, the stories of Lane, Allegra, and their grandparents (the grandfather who is doting and caring and the grandmother who is inattentive and aloof) come to life.
Lane knows something bad has happened to Allegra, there is the Roanoke Curse, after all, but she must muddle through her own issues which have shaped her past and continue to damage her present and, most likely, her future. Having known only bitterness and hatred from her mother, Lane has no way to understand, much less accept love and kindness, unless she can break the curse that has plagued their family for three generations.
This book, though not for the faint of heart, is extremely well-written and quite intense. Lane is emotionally scarred and psychologically traumatized even before she comes to Roanoke where secrets are what hold the family together. And oh the tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive. This story will shock most, but it really is a story of exactly what it takes to break the ties that bind in order to heal. I highly recommend this book.
- The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
- Hardback: 288 pages
- Paperback: 304 pages; Broadway Books; Reprint edition (December 5, 2017)
- Kindle: 6120 KB
- Audiobook: 10 hours and 41 minutes; narrated by
- Publisher: Crown (March 7, 2017)
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