The reading tips this week is the lovely and disturbing The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. This book is dark and creepy, twisted and gothic and so disturbing! But it’s also gripping, and engaging and such a page-turner. This is a very different story from what I normally like to read; so I really wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. But the combination of Amy Engel’s writing style and how she gets your curiosity and feelings for the Roanoke girls (especially Lane) up, really makes this a churning, heartbreaking story you won’t easily forget. This is a book that will both give you the thrills and make you feel a bit disgusted at the same time.
Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin at the Roanoke family's rural estate following the suicide of her mother. Over one long, hot summer, Lane experiences the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But what she doesn't know is being a Roanoke girl carries a terrible legacy: either the girls run, or they die. For there is darkness at the heart of Roanoke, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull, she must make her choice...
At first, the unsettling subject matter of the story (won’t go into any more details as it would be a spoiler) put me off a bit, but the second half of the book really picked up pace and feelings and the ending was such a good, well-written one, leaving you with a kind of happy feeling after all the prior misery and heartache.
Also kudos to Amy Engel for daring to write a book about a very heavy and against the law taboo topic, and for so clearly condemning it.
Find out more about the books and the author here: Amy Engel