Review: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

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4.5/5 stars

I apologize for the spoilers. I just couldn’t help it. Please read at your own risk or preferrably after you’ve read the book.

The first reason the novel had this magnetic pull on me is pettily the cover. It’s so gorgeous I had to buy it. Second, it had “Girls” on the title and I’m operating on the scientific belief that anything with the word “girl” or “girls” on the title is usually good. I know. My logic is perfect. Lol.

But just after reading a few pages, it’s really the writing that completely took hold of me. Because honestly, plot-wise, I was already very sure where the story was headed. My suspicions were so accurate and when the revelations came in the end, I didn’t even want to gloat and say “I knew it!” because I thought it was predictable and yet, I flipped through every single page as if I had zero idea of what’s going on. That’s how gripping the writing is.

There is no serial killer on the loose nor a psychotic maniac brandishing or waving his knife at pretty girls at a gas station, but this is still as creepy as hell, probably even creepier. The Roanoke is like Craster’s Keep. Girls raised exactly to have a serious case of Electra complex except I’m more forgiving of Craster considering he’s a wildling. Lol.

What happens inside the Roanoke is so abhorrently unimaginable but it’s scary that the family felt like it’s what’s supposed to happen-something inevitable like tradition and kept on for generations. It’s shockingly twisted and effed up. So disturbing it might make you lose a few hours of sleep and yet I just couldn’t stop reading because the author deftly painted this ugly picture of a completely messed-up family so craftily and so believably, it makes you understand why these ugly things happened.

“It wasn’t desire. It was more like recognition. Like he was already swimming through my blood, already inside of me. He was a destiny it was possible to run from, but one I would never escape.”

The Roanoke Girls is a subtle message reminding readers that abuse doesn’t only come in the form of physical abuse but worse, emotional and psychological manipulation making the victim believe that they wanted or deserved it, that’s it’s their fault, making them feel like they should be blamed and deserve to be punished and that they have no other choice but stay like there’s no way out. I’m glad the author made sure to put a reasonable ending, a closure that made things right in the end.

Published by AJ

Hi! I'm Aj from the Philippines. Obviously I love to read and write and from years of experience I have learned that when you love something so much, you would do it absolutely for free so here I am writing stuff for all people to see in the hopes that at least one or maybe two souls could benefit or get little inspiration from what they will read from this blog. Enjoy and spread the love! ;)

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