The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls was like a car crash, you don’t want to look at it but once you are you can’t look away. This novel is about the beautiful and mysterious Roanoke girls, living on a grand estate where they appear to have it all, looks, money and yet every girl either dies young or runs away. Lane was lucky, she grew up away from it all until her mother died and she spent one summer living there, learning the mysteries of her family before disappearing and vowing to never return. That is until her cousin goes missing and she must return to find out what happened.


I read this book in one sitting on a Saturday night. It was horrific and fascinating and I could not put it down. Much of the fascination with this book lies in the persuasive characters that Engel writes. If you didn’t believe the motivations, the strengths of certain characters in this novel the concept would not work. Engel takes this unfathomable situation and makes it believable. I enjoyed the format of this book. We read most of it from Lane’s perspective jumping from the past to the present, slowly revealing Roanoke’s secrets. These time points are mixed with snippets of perspective of each of the missing or dead Roanoke girls, telling each of their stories.


Some of the prettiest book covers house the most horrific of stories and this book is no exception. The novel is physchomogically thrilling with plenty of good twists. The pacing is excellent, keeping the reader on their toes wanting to know more, see how it all ends. There isn’t much to discuss without giving away plot points but if you do pick it up be aware there is some strong content. I do recommend this one if you are after a creepy, psychological read. I found it reprehensible, yet engrossing. A true testament to strong writing. I give the Roanoke girls four carousel horses.


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