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The Roanoke Girls

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  24,687 ratings  ·  4,164 reviews
alternate cover editions can be found here and here

"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
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 5th 2017 by Crown Publishing Group (NY) (first published March 7th 2017)
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Kim definitely not 17 or 18. The problem is we don't talk about child abuse and so children can believe that it's somehow their fault. The book explores t…moredefinitely not 17 or 18. The problem is we don't talk about child abuse and so children can believe that it's somehow their fault. The book explores this dynamic so beautifully. Why should we deny this story to the very people that it's about. I think that schools should tell pupils that they can talk about these things. That things can change. Nothing will change if we keep this notion of secrecy to preserve "innocent' childhood. It just protects the abusers. (less)
Kathleen No, no, no! It's much more literary, much better written and doesn't deal with the issue just for inflammatory reasons but with much greater sensitivi…moreNo, no, no! It's much more literary, much better written and doesn't deal with the issue just for inflammatory reasons but with much greater sensitivity.(less)

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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,687 ratings  ·  4,164 reviews

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Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

All the stars!!!

"Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die".

As soon as I read that first sentence in the blurb for this book, I knew I had to have it. Once I started reading I had a really hard time putting this book down. This was another one of those rare times that I was not upset at having to wait at the doctor's office. They probably called my name a few times before I even heard the
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
UPDATE: $1.99 Kindle US today 7/9/19

This book is horribly sad and nasty!


Lane's mom commits suicide and she gets shipped off to live with her grandparents in a little town. Lane has a cousin living with them as well, her name is Allegra. She's crazy as all get out but there are reasons.

Grandpa is a very nice man to the girls. Gran, she's just there so it seems. Their house keeper, Sharon isn't too friendly. Their field hand (whatever you want to call him) Charlie lives in a little apartment on
Kristin (KC)
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: powerful, favorites, dark
*5 stars*

Amy Engel’s writing is as powerful as this story's subject matter is unsettling. It’s a forceful combination; one that had my churning stomach forever at odds with my growing curiosity and admiration for these tortured Roanoke Girls and their legacy of heartache.

Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

This story’s tone is dark and haunting, and its content downright appalling. But, if you give the plot enough time to show its face, yo
Chelsea Humphrey
Mar 14, 2017 marked it as dnf-lost-interest  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
DNF. Too many triggers in this one for me to push through. I'm sure this is a great book for the right reader, I just didn't fit that bill. I understood that sexual abuse was an aspect of the plot but wasn't aware it was the entire focus. Still wish the author all the best and am sincerely happy for those who enjoyed it. On to the next one! ...more
Edward Lorn
Feb 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm so goddamn tired of the same-old, predictable shit. For that reason, among the many more you are about to read below, this review is going to be rage-y as fuck. If you manage to not get offended by the contents, I hope you enjoy this review more than I enjoyed the book.

First and foremost, BOOBS! There were so many mentions of funbags in this book, I had to recheck the cover to make sure this wasn't written by a dude. Every few pages, in the first 30 pages, the author mentions "big boobs" or
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
5 oh my!

I am kind of upset with can I be rating such a dark and disturbing story so highly? The only way I can explain and justify enjoying this book as much as I did is that this tragic story sucked me right in on page one and didn't let me up for a breath of air until the final page. Wow - I simply devoured this book!

From the moment I laid my eyes on the beautiful cover of this book when picking it up at the library, I was addicted to it - I couldn't let it leave
Wow!  Holy Shooty Balls!

* 5 Holy cow stars! *

“Nothing around here has ever been right.”

The subject matter of this book is quite obvious and unsettling which did make me feel slightly uncomfortable at times but in my opinion the author handles the content gently and with care!

THE ROANOKE GIRLS by AMY ENGEL is a dark, dirty and haunting tale that is emotional, thought-provoking, disturbing, and heartbreaking with a hint of a romance weaved into the story to lighten the mood ever so slightly. I rea
Elyse  Walters
Very disturbing novel!
"Rage boils up from the pit of my stomach, mixing with outrage in my throat".
"It's not enough!" I say, my voice loud, just this side of yelling. I push back from the
table leg and my glass falls over. Water seeping across wood."
"Allegra is gone. She's gone! And both of you are sitting here like everything is normal!
Like this whole place isn't fucked".

Nothing about the Roanoke household -- just outside Osage Flats, Kansas, feels right.
Owned by Yates and Lillian Roanoke.
Felice Laverne
“To Sarah, Allegra is simply a bitch…not one single second of Allegra’s life was easy. I know the agony she lived with every day. And I understand how sometimes you have to pass the pain around in order to survive it.”

Amy Engel’s adult fiction debut, The Roanoke Girls, turned out to be more than I’d hoped for in theme, in characters, in setting and narration. Despite all of the deep, dark and twisty subject matter that a lot of readers are commenting on—followers of my reviews know that I LOVE t
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, netgalley
This is chilling, dark and disturbing fiction from Amy Engel, set in the oppressive and overpowering heat of Osage Flats, in rural Kansas, where the Roanake girls end up running or dying. Fifteen year old Lane had a tense and difficult relationship with her mother who commits suicide. Shocked and adrift, she comes to live with her maternal grandparents in Kansas and bonds with her beautiful and off the wall, troubled cousin, Allegra, with whom she shares a remarkable resemblance. She takes to li ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars

Sweet Mother of God...this book is like Flowers in the Attic on Crack. Seriously, this book has some serious ick factor...but it was also seriously good. I found that even though it was icky, I could not put this book down. I had to know. What is going to happen? Will the truth come out?

Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

Fifteen year old, Lane Roanoke moved in with her grandparents and her cousin Allegra after her Mother's suicide. Her cousin
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I would have a totally awesome quote inserted right here. Except for the fact that Kelly 'the book pusher' and Mitchell may really share parts of my brain. I checked and she had already stolen them. I'll let her slide since she threatened me bodily harm if I didn't hurry up and read this one. Because it's just pure goodness. (Don't read this 'head in the oven' book and look at us weird. We were already weird to start with.)

This book starts off with fifteen year old Lane after her mother's suicid
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Release Date: March 7, 2017

My Review:
Lane Roanoke is sent to live with her grandparents in Kansas after her mother commits suicide. She is fifteen years old with no other family members to care for her. Lane has no prior connections with her grandparents because her mother left her home as pregnant teen. The move also gives her a chance to meet with her extended family.
Lane quickly assimilates to living with her grandparents and cousin Allegra at their rural estate. Allegra is the same age as La
Charlotte May
“I’ve learned by now that life picks away at all of us, backs us into corners we never anticipated. Turns us into people we never thought we’d become.”

Woah! I read some of the reviews before starting this and a lot of people described the unsettling content in The Roanoke Girls, but even then I was still shocked by it!

After Lane Roanoke’s Mum commits suicide, she returns to the family home in Kansas. Where her grandparents and cousin Allegra live - one she has never visited before, and one he
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:


“You know your family’s fucked up, right?” he asked. “Like, seriously screwed.”

If you want to sit at the lunch table with Mitchell and me you probably need to buy this. (Also, we wear pink on Wednesdays.) I’ve only read about 40 books so far this year, so declaring this to be “My Favorite Read of 2017” is a bit lackluster at this point. I will say that I bet any of you a dollar it ends up as at lea
Oh ICK! What a messed up family!

All of THE ROANOKE GIRLS are dark haired and exceptionally beautiful. Generation after generation, nothing but mesmerizing knockout beauty, but they have a big problem. They all hail from a "sick" dysfunctional family and end up having short troubled lives.

The story begins when sixteen year old Lane is sent off to live with her rich grandparents and vivacious cousin after her disturbed ROANOKE mother commits suicide. (no spoiler here) So from New York City to a de

I was clueless about this book's subject, so my eyes just about popped out of my head when a character blurts out the scandalous family secret! The Roanoke Girls is exactly the type of twisted tale that I’d sneak into my library book stack when I was a teenager, so it triggered a nostalgic feeling in me. I was completely riveted by the story, but the entertaining quality made me feel like a rubbernecker. One big secret is revealed at 12% and the course of the story felt fairly certain from that ...more
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
This hit the Top 5 in my Top 17 Reads of 2017. I don't know how to write this. I'm speechless and emotionally wrecked by this astonishing book. I'm in a state of shock.

I am stuck for words. Overwhelmed. I only remember maybe two other books making me feel like this after finishing. I might read this a thousand times - and I never re-read books.

Shocking. Taboo. Sublime. Powerful. Disturbing. Dark. Beautiful. Sorrowful. Broken. Infectious. Horrified. Disgusted. Warmed. Desperate. Choked. Teary. U
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Flowers in the Attic had incestual sex with Sharp Objects, The Roanoke Girls would be the inbred alcohol syndrome baby girl.

"Roanoke girls never last long around here.
In the end we either run or we die."

This is a dark family drama involving incest to the nth degree.

While there are no real twists or thrills in this story, it is nonetheless a captivating book written impeccably by Amy Engel. Very reminiscent of VC Andrews, not only in subject but in style.

I'm definitely curious to take a l
Jennifer Masterson
DNF. I think I'm going through a rut. I've DNF'ed several books in the past week. This is definitely the case of it's me not the book. I made it about 50%. I wasn't even bothered by the subject matter. ...more
Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

What is with those Roanoke girls? More to the point, what is with their ever-so-loving Dad and Granddad? And how does the mysterious and glamorous Gran fit into the picture? Being welcomed home with open arms is not always everything it is cracked up to be. The Roanoke girls. They either end up running away or they die.

Subject matter will be a deal-breaker for some readers.
Right. Now we have 'domestic noir', we need a new genre name for this kind of book. The trashy literary thriller thing. The stories that fake depth with verbs that seem to be drawn from a litfic-by-numbers crib sheet. The Girls and its sisters. Reading one of these is like finding a box of mini donuts in the reduced section at the supermarket, when the sugar's turned gummy but they're only 20p, or all of The Only Way is Essex being added to Netflix: it's rubbish, but you'd better believe I'm ...more
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
I went back and forth wondering if I should read The Roanoke Girls as I didn't think it would be for me, but curiosity got to me and I decided to give it a go. I went in knowing and was prepared for the distrubing subject matter as my sister Norma gave me a heads up. There were really no shocking or overly disturbing moments for me as I was prepared for them allowing me to stay focused on the characters and not the subject matter.

The story is told from Lane one the Roanoke girls shifting from th
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm honestly a bit worried at how much I liked this book.........

It's dark, angry and disturbing. Rich with secrets and flawed characters at every corner. Characters that at once irritated me, then made me want to reach out and give them a hug.

The reader is privy to the 'dark secret' early on, and to be honest I wasn't all that surprised. What did surprise me though was how the author handled this secret through the rest of the book.
Instead of it being smack in your face, there were undertones o
Feb 07, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure I would call this a thriller or a mystery, but it definitely is very dark. Both the secret and the villain(s) are relatively easy to guess, but I don’t think that detracts from the writing or the overall enjoyment - if I can call it that - of the story.
Look at this tangle of thorns ~ Vladimir Nabokov
Osage Flats, Kansas. Roanoke farm. A family of extraordinary beautiful women - descendants of Lily and Yates Roanoke; a mix-n-match architectural mansions; old hired hands; an old barn; corn fields; oil reserves.

Lane, fifteen, almost sixteen years old, the last surviving descendant, was called home by the patriarch when Allegra disappeared. Roanoke girls never last long there, they either run or die.
“Sophia drowned in the North Fork during th
Dan Schwent
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 2017-books
After her mother's death, Lane Roanoke spent a summer with family in rural Kansas. Now, years later, her cousin Allegra is missing and Lane goes back to Kansas to figure out what happened and face the events of the summer that changed her life...

I saw the title Roanoke Girls being thrown around but I knew nothing about the book when it went on sale for $2.99. Going in cold made it all the better.

The Roanoke Girls is part mystery, part horrible coming of age tale. Lane Roanoke is a damaged limb o
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

I don’t have a lot to say about The Roanoke Girls, because I think this is one of those stories where it’s best if you go in knowing as little in advance as possible. When I picked this title up, all I knew was that it was an adult mystery fic, and that it involved a woman going back home to investigate her missing cousin. That said, I will take a moment to offer some content warnings for sexual abuse, incest, suici
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
BEING A ROANOKE GIRL DOESNT LAST LONG HERE WE EITHER RUN OR DIE!! that got me in from that first line. I was then hooked to every page i just could not put this book down, it was quite disturbing & unsettling i was at the end & said to my husband OMG it was that type of ending. I loved everything about this book it was dark, heartbreaking & my emotions were so all over the place. My favourite character was Lane she was fractured & reading her character was painful but she was a survivor. Loved t ...more
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I don't know why I waited this long to pick this book up. It gripped me in it's ugly grasp from page one and never let go.

This is an absolutely horrible story that was written so beautifully it nearly took my breath away. I highlighted passages again and again because I was simply stunned at the talent of this author. It is no easy feat to tackle such an ugly subject matter and to do it sensitively. Oh how my heart ached for the Roanoke girls. The ending I found bittersweet.

I couldn't possibly
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Amy Engel is the author of THE ROANOKE GIRLS and THE BOOK OF IVY series. A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family. Her next literary thriller, THE FAMILIAR DARK, will be published by Dutton in Spring 2020.

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“You can't outrun what's inside of you. You can only acknowledge it, work around it, try and turn it into something better. I may not know exactly where I'm headed, but this time I'm choosing my own destiny.” 29 likes
“We're all fucked up, Lane, one way or another. It's only a matter of degree.” 13 likes
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