Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Broken Girls” as Want to Read:
The Broken Girls
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Broken Girls

by
4.06  ·  Rating details ·  26,295 ratings  ·  3,868 reviews
A suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare...

Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispe
...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by Berkley
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Broken Girls, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Pam Last month, This book was a selection for book of the month, which is an online service (like a club) that lets you pick one of 5 new releases each…moreLast month, This book was a selection for book of the month, which is an online service (like a club) that lets you pick one of 5 new releases each month for 14.99. They have exclusive rights sometimes (apparently) to get copies before they go on sale to the public. 5 new titles are offered at the first of each month. That is how I was able to read this book before it was even released.
Sometimes people get advance copies thru netgalley too, but I am not really familiar with that.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  26,295 ratings  ·  3,868 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Deanna
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

4.5 Stars!!

“Mary Hand, Mary Hand, dead and buried under land…
Faster, faster. Don’t let her catch you.
She’ll say she wants to be your friend…
Do not let her in again!”

I’m not usually one for paranormal/ghost stories, but when I read the description for “The Broken Girls” I was really intrigued. I’m thrilled to say that this was even better than I expected.


Barrons, Vermont - November 1950.

A young girl has just gotte
...more
Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 SHINY STARS, I would give a lot more if I Could.

Mary Hand Mary Hand, Dead and buried underland. She'll say she wants to be your friend. Do not let her in again.

The setting is in Vermont. There are rumors that the boarding school Idlewild Hall is haunted. This is a place where girls go who are troublemakers, illegitimate and too smart for their own good. Their parents rarely visit them. Four roommates are friends and they bond very well until one of them disappears.

Fiona Sheridan is a journal
...more
Julie
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a 2018 Berkley publication.

Now THIS is my kind of book!!


Set in Vermont, alternating between 1950 and 2014, this well rounded thriller, centers around a girl’s only school named Idlewood Hall. During the fifties, this school was where troubled girls were sent, and where a group of girls forge an unlikely and formidable friendship which would cause a rippling effect for decades to come.

Over the years, the abandoned school was nothing more than an eyesore
...more
Meredith
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
LOVED!

Hauntingly suspenseful read about a former boarding school for “troubled girls.”


There’s something sinister at work in Barrons, Vermont at the abandoned Idlewild Hall. Ghosts have been seen, bodies have been found, and secrets have been long buried. When a journalist begins digging into the dark, dismal history of Idlewild, she exposes a web of corruption and hidden crimes.

In the 1950’s four girls were roommates and the best of friends at Idlewild Hall, a boarding school for “troubled” gir
...more
(Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-reads, 2018
4 Haunting Stars for The Broken Girls

The Broken Girls is part paranormal story, part mystery and I enjoyed how Simone St. James blended the two together. I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed the ghost aspect of the story.

The story unfolds via two separate storylines, set decades apart. At the center of each storyline stands Idlewild, a home for troubled girls. In 1950, a girl gets off a bus and goes missing. The only people who are convinced something is wrong are her roommates.
...more
Kaceey
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5*
A dark, haunting novel that includes a whopper of a ghost story. When I first sought out this book I had no idea the plotline involved a supernatural element. Had I known, I probably would have just passed on it. And boy, what a shame that would’ve been. In fact, the supernatural slant ended up being my favorite part of the book!
So even if ghosts tend to scare, (like they do for me👻) don’t run! It blends perfectly into the story.

The book is split into two timelines. Past and present. Intere
...more
Navidad Thélamour
Idlewild was the boarding school of last resort, where parents stashed their embarrassments, their failures, and their recalcitrant girls. Hidden in the backwoods of Vermont, it had only 120 students: illegitimate daughters, first wives’ daughters, servants’ daughters, immigrant girls, girls who misbehaved…

The Broken Girls proved to be a breezy and exciting read in all of the best ways. The hooks were there, pulling me further and further into the story until I became one with it. Until the hou
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 eerie, ghostly stars to The Broken Girls! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

The Broken Girls started off with a bang and with a dynamically engaging prologue! Was there a ghost right from the start?

If you think you do not enjoy ghost stories, I have to say, this one is executed well. Spooky is done with a light hand, not overdone, even feasible if that’s possible for a ghost story?! The atmosphere is perfectly staged with an old school building featuring “tooth-shaped windows.”

In Vermont in the 1950s, there’s a home fo
...more
Melisa
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A seriously atmospheric, creepy, spooky, eerie (seriously, think of a synonym for any of those words and it will fit the bill) tale that will haunt you day and night.

I am not one for supernatural books, but this one was SO well done, it had me believing in ghosts by the time I was finished. So well done, in fact, that I went and bought this author’s entire back catalogue of titles. Mary Hand is a fascinating character and her powers are definitely unique. I loved her storyline, and would have en
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I thought it was great!!



Happy First Of October!!

Mel 🖤🐺🐾🎃
megs_bookrack
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs-read


This book exceeded my expectations in every way possible. I went into this knowing two things: prep school for girls + mystery.

Upon reading, I pleasantly discovered there is a lot more to this story than that. The novel is replete with a gothic atmosphere that transports you in time and space into the story. It is the perfect blend of mystery thriller with extra special paranormal goodness sprinkled the whole way through!



The main portion of the story alternates back and forth between 1950 and 2
...more
Kendall
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Mary Hand, Mary Hand, dead and buried under land.... Faster, faster. Don't let her catch you. She'll say she wants to be your friend...."

What a bloody brilliant story! The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a creepy, chilling, and BOLD ghost story. Oh my gosh... I absolutely loved how Simone created a mystery within a paranormal/ghost story. I have read previous novels where authors have tried to create a paranormal feel to the mystery/thriller and it failed miserably but wow... I am utterly
...more
Diane S ☔
Feb 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
3.5 A storyline fifty years apart. A deserted school for girls, a school that in the fifties, housed girls that had problems. Four become fast friends, and then one goes missing never forgotten, but never seen again. A murder in more current times, body found on school grounds and a sister who wants answers. Now a wealthy woman is undertaking a renovation of the school, opening and exposing old secrets. Oh yes, and we must forget the ghost!!

The atmosphere, spooky, gothic, tense, the definite sta
...more
Theresa Alan
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't believe in ghosts in real life, but I absolutely believed in the ghost of Mary Hand haunting a girls' boarding school, even after it was shut down in 1979. The writing of Broken Girls is wonderful and unique.

The story is told during two diferent periods in history. In 2014, journalist Fiona Sheridan, daughter of a famous journalist, is still looking for more solid information on the murder of her sister twenty years earlier, even though Deb's boyfriend was convicted and has been imprison
...more
Norma * Traveling Sister
3.5 stars!

The Broken Girls was a quick, entertaining, fast-paced and atmospheric gothic mystery novel that was an enjoyable and satisfying read. I did enjoy the dual storylines, but I thought that the past timeline was a little more interesting than the present one though.

I do love a good ghost story and the supernatural and I definitely thought the author delivered a spooky read here, but for some reason when I was reading this novel, I wasn't overly impressed with the author's prose though so
...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4.5 stars! I loved the gothic and mysterious feel of this gripping novel!

From page one, I was drawn into this fascinating story surrounding Idlewild Hall, an old crumbling abandoned girls boarding school. In the 1950’s, an Idlewild Hall student disappeared, leaving for a weekend family visit, never to return. Almost fifty years later, a local girl is left dead in the open field surrounding the abandoned property of Idlewild Hall, the school having closed down decades prior. Add into the story th
...more
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
Wow, this book blew me away! It had everything I love in a book, amazing believable characters, smooth flowing prose, mystery within mystery within mystery. The past and present narrative style works wonderfully in this book and I was equally interested in both parts of the book.

In Barrons, Vermont there was a private school called Idlewild Hall for “troubled” girls. This could range from those who had suffered mental and emotional trauma, girls that just didn’t fit the right mold, girls fathere
...more
Holly  B
An eerie ghost story set in Vermont. Two timelines (1950 and 2014) merge to unfold a haunting tale with plenty of spine tingling revelations.

A boarding school for troubled girls in 1950, conceals secrets that are begging to be told. The foreboding rhyme of Mary Hand is whispered through the walls. One of the four bonded roommates disappears and the others are left afraid and worried for their friend.

It’s 2014 and Fiona has questions about her sisters murder, although it has been twenty years. He
...more
Jennifer Masterson
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I hate to give it the “meh” but that’s how this book was for me. The audio is very good though. Most people enjoyed this book way more than I did so don’t take my word for it.







Dem
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wish it didn't have to end................This is my guilty pleasure style novel. I loved the gothic, mystery feel to this book and my only regret on this one is that I don't actually own a hard copy for my real life book shelf.
Broken Girls is a chilling murder / suspense story set in Idlewild Hall, an old abandoned boarding school in rural Vermont. I am a sucker for gothic or modern gothic style stories and throw in an old abandoned Manor or Boarding school with a mysterious past and a haunti
...more
Carol (Bookaria)
What a great and captivating book!

On the 1950s timeline we have a group of friends who are attending a boarding school called Idlewild Hall. They are devastated to learn that one of their close friends has mysteriously disappeared without a trace and, to make matters more intriguing, the school grounds are said to be haunted.

On the 2014 timeline we have Fiona, whose sister was murdered twenty years ago and dumped on Idlewild. Fiona is still struggling with her sister's murder and she becomes un
...more
Sarah Joint
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A deliciously creepy story that's a bit gothic, heartwrenching, and completely absorbing. Stories involved the supernatural are a hit or miss with me, and I'm glad this one was a hit. The supernatural parts are not overdone at all, enough to be spooky and leave you wanting more, while being easy to imagine. I actually jumped at some point when my reading was rudely interrupted by a knock!

This story has two timelines, 1950 and 2014. I found the older to be more my style, but they were both inter
...more
Brenda - Traveling Sister
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was lost in the spooky overgrown weedy brushes of the lush coulee with ten of my Traveling Sisters. This was one of our largest group reads that we have done and it was such a great, fun read. I really enjoyed discussing everyone’s thoughts on this one. Interesting with such a large group we ended up in the same coulee but were split into different sides of the coulee.

The Broken Girls is a creepy gothic, suspenseful, supernatural thriller that pulled us deep into the weedy brushes along with
...more
Tammy
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m weary of thrillers. I’m not a fan of ghost stories. And, bad girls in boarding school has been done to death. Sounds like a recipe for a disappointing read but Broken Girls was a pleasant surprise. The four “bad” girls in 1950 weren’t bad by today’s standards, in fact they weren’t bad at all. Mostly, these girls were shuttled off to a crumbling and severe boarding school to shield their parents from embarrassment and then a student goes missing. Everyone was afraid at Idlewild Hall even the ...more
Marialyce
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 couldn't stop reading stars rounded up

This was a story of tragedy, of death, of girls seeking love and finding it with one another in a boarding school in Vermont. It was a story with Gothic overtones that kept this reader totally engaged from the very first page unto its satisfying conclusion.

What better way to get rid of a daughter, a young girl, or a family problem, than to shut her away in a boarding school far from others and seldom visit or even care about her? The girls we meet are
...more
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I enjoyed this SO MUCH MORE than I expected to. Wow. What a surprisingly spooky read. Definitely going to add a million Simone St. James books to my tbr now bc I think I’m obsessed?
Book of Secrets
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE BROKEN GIRLS was an amazing book, combining many elements I love: mystery, ghost story, historical fiction, dual time periods, and crime drama. I loved it – yes, it was dark and unsettling, but I was glued to the pages.

The story alternates between the early 1950s and 2014 in a tiny Vermont town. In the past, four teenage girls attend a local boarding school for troubled girls called Idlewild Hall when one goes missing; in the present, a journalist named Fiona investigates the death of her si
...more
Berit☀️✨
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A haunting mystery filled with the perfect amount of chills and thrills!

Mary Hand Mary Hand, Dead and buried under land. She’ll say she wants to be your friend. Do not let her in again.

This book was a bit of a genre potpourri.... a dose of mystery, a measure of thriller,a shot of historical fiction, a sprinkling of the paranormal, and a pinch of romance! All these genres were blended seamlessly creating one heck of a book! This book definitely caught me by surprise, I really was not expecting t
...more
Carrie
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a mystery/thriller read that has supernatural elements to it. Told in alternating timelines from several points of view the books was still easy to follow and one that will captivate the reader on the mystery side but give chills with the ghostly elements.

In 2014, Fiona Sheridan is a journalist who was once touched by tragedy when the body of her sister was found. Her sister’s boyfriend at the time was tried and convicted of the murder but Fiona has never
...more
Jasmine from How Useful It Is
About: The Broken Girls is a thriller written by Simone St. James. It will be published on 3/20/18 by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House, paperback, 336 pages. The genres are paranormal, fiction, suspense, gothic, and thriller.

My Experience: I started reading The Broken Girls on 2/11/18 and finished it on 2/23/18. This book is a fantastic and thrilling read right from the first page! I literally bite my teeth and take shallow breaths as I devour the pages in this story. I couldn’t put
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Last Time I Lied
  • The End of Temperance Dare
  • Things Half in Shadow
  • The Child Finder (Naomi Cottle, #1)
  • Bellewether
  • The Turn of the Key
  • A Barricade In Hell (Delia Martin, #2)
  • The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen #2)
  • Jar of Hearts
  • Salt Lane
  • Not a Sound
  • The Underground Railroad
  • The Night Olivia Fell
  • Come Find Me
  • The Echo Killing (Harper McClain, #1)
  • Women of the Dunes
  • Mister Tender's Girl
  • The Coffin Path
2,243 followers
Simone St. James is the award-winning author of The Broken Girls and The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time ...more
“Sonia envied her, the way she could turn her brain off, think about absolutely nothing. It was a trick Sonia herself had never learned. That was what books did - they turned off your thinking for you, put their thoughts in your head so you wouldn't have your own.” 8 likes
“That was what the books did—they turned off your thinking for you, put their thoughts in your head so you wouldn't have your own.” 7 likes
More quotes…