“With more twists than a bag of pretzels, this compelling family saga may make you question what you think you know about your own relatives.”
“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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Roanoke Girls is the first novel for adults by YA author Amy Engel, who goes dark and scandalous right out of the gate with this twisted family saga. If you're looking for sweetness and light, this one isn't for you. But if, like us, you can't resist a deeply unnerving psychological thriller, find a cozy perch and prepare to stay put for a while.
YA author Engel (The Book of Ivy) makes her adult debut with a gripping if creepy thriller set on the Kansas prairie. Lane Roanoke fervently hoped she had seen the last of Roanoke, the family homestead, when she fled Kansas for Los Angeles as a desperate 16-year-old, but now a decade later the disappearance of her cousin Allegra, the only kin to whom she feels a connection, compels her to return against her better judgment. Indeed, with local law enforcement stymied, it seems that the only hope of solving the mystery lies with Lane and whatever clues she can dredge up from memories of the traumatic summer the two cousins shared as teens. Skipping lightly between past and present, including Lane's efforts to finally come to terms with the two most influential men in her life dangerously seductive family patriarch Yates and roguish Cooper Sullivan, her never-forgotten first love this gothic page-turner speeds inexorably toward the kinds of devastating revelations readers won't soon forget.