For sixteen years, Lane dreamed of the house named after her mother's family. Her mother never told her anything about the place where she grew up. Never told Lane anything about her parents. Never told her why she left in the first place or why she avoided any mention of the small Kansas town where she lived before. And then Lane's mom committed suicide.
At first, it seemed like life at Roanoke would be ok. But then Lane discovered the secret her mother lived with all those years.
A decade later, Lane's cousin has gone missing and Lane finds herself once again pulled to Roanoke.
Um. This is a tough one to review. At it's most basic, Amy Engel's writing is great. Her prose reads easily, pulling you into the story from the start with Lane's narration. And I admit I really did like Lane. She's tough and she's clever and her determination to find out what happened to her cousin is admirable.
Chapters alternate between "Then" - Lane's first arrival at Roanoke as a teen, "Now" - her return after learning Allegra has gone missing, and interspersed chapters on the other Roanoke girls going back to Lane's grandfather's sisters.
As Lane's cousin reveals, none of the Roanoke girls lasts long. It didn't take but a few pages for me to draw my own conclusion about what the dark secrets of Roanoke might be. And that suspicion was confirmed shortly thereafter. I was actually a bit disappointed when it turned out I was right - first because it seemed too obvious, or just too easy a choice. Second because had I known from the start that's what the book was about, I likely wouldn't have read it at all.
As I said, the reveal comes early so the why of the Roanoke girls' stories lacks suspense and twists. The only real reveals left concern Allegra's fate, which for some might be enough of a draw. If you're a frequent visitor to the blog, then you know there's not much subject wise that I shy away from and I'm a fan of dark. This one, though, was just too much for me.
To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.
For more on Amy Engel and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
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