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Saturday 2 September 2017

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Although all the plot threads were satisfactorily tied up by the end, for me, the book threw up a number of unanswered questions.

Lane returns to the wealthy Roanoke family home after her mother, Camilla, dies. It's where she spends a summer and where she discovers that beneath the have-it-all fa├žade there lies a seriously dysfunctional family…one she has no desire to be part of. But when her closest ally, her cousin Allegra, goes missing eleven years later, Lane is forced to return.

The book is disturbing and aims to shock…the topic (sexual abuse and incest) is extremely unpleasant…but I became more irritated than shocked by the fact that not one of abusees…and let’s face it, charismatic Grandad ‘has’ just about every female member of the family whatever their ages or generation…reports it or tells anyone else…because Grandad loves them all, they’re all so special. That just didn’t wash with me.

However, despite the chilling and uneasy subject, it is without doubt compelling, riveting and extremely well written. I’ve never read any books by Engel, but her writing is powerful and emotional, and I really enjoyed her style.

Dark, unsettling, a little haunting, sad, twisted, but despite my few niggles, an intense page turner.

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