Jaci Miller's Reviews > The Broken Girls

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
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really liked it

“Mary Hand, Mary Hand, dead and buried under land.”

The Broken Girls is a masterful Gothic suspense that will keep readers turning pages long into the night.

The story unfolds in the rural countryside of Vermont, in the small town of Barrons, a place that is hiding many dark secrets all linked to the ominous boarding school known as Idlewild Hall. The storyline shifts between two different timelines, 1950 and 2014. In 1950 the boarding school is home to unwanted and unloved girls, those deemed undesirable or shameful to a rigid society. In 2014 it is an abandoned shell of its former self, a place where only secrets exist hidden in the shadows.

The atmospheric setting of the Idlewild boarding school creates not only a chilling backdrop for the ghost that haunts the grounds but is also an appealingly character. Idlewild Hall echoes the secrets of its inhabitants, those whose stories unfolded within its walls and those whose lives ended under its dark, watchful presence. A link to the past and the present that both defines and changes each individual character through their interaction with it. Idlewild Hall is a presence that cannot be ignored and creates an effective link to the storylines of both eras.

Along with the boarding school, St. James’ cast of characters is dynamic. Focusing a lens on the ‘broken girls,’ those whom society has either trodden down, tragically discarded, or pitied. Each of these characters are interesting, well developed, and relevant. While I did not connect to Fiona as much as to the 1950s Idlewild girls, I found that each of their stories helped develop their character arcs, moving their storylines forward and creating a deeper more developed theme to the book.

St. James has created a paranormally-infused gothic suspense novel that entices the senses with engaging characters, haunting settings, and intriguing and authentic storytelling. The Broken Girls is a captivating read that I highly recommend.

A thank you to the author, NetGalley, and Berkley Publishing Group for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

November 26, 2017 – Started Reading
November 26, 2017 – Shelved
November 26, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
November 26, 2017 –
November 27, 2017 – Finished Reading

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