Monday, April 30, 2018

Review: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

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 whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears....

Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced. . . .

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published March 20th 2018
by Berkley
*****

 Dual time period books are a favorite of mine and with an action filled prologue the author grabbed my attention and did not let go till the very end.

From 1950 we meet four teen girls left at Idlewild Hall for various reason, sent there because they are troubled and/or uncontrollable. Idlewild Hall is said to be haunted by the ghost of Mary Hand...
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!
In 2014 Fiona is still struggling from the tragic death of her sister, her body was discovered on the deserted field of Idlewild but something just doesn't feel right and she can't let it go.

The Broken Girls is flawless, between a unique plot with characters I couldn’t help feeling heaps of compassion for, where others rubbed me the wrong way. They are flawed, troubled and believable. While I tried to predict the next move the author keep me on my toes as the many layers started to unwind.

I loved the writers style, there was depth of character and she stayed true to both time periods. The historical aspects weren't what I expected and totally worked perfectly here, it was a bonus I didn't see coming.  The ending wasn't rushed and tied everything up nicely.

Another thing that I really loved is the synopsis, there is enough information to get the just of the story but there are no spoilers or any 'this happens, that happens', it’s a pet peeve of mine when the synopsis gives too much of the story away and removes those elements of surprise.

If it was possible to give The Broken Girls more than 5 stars I would, as soon as I saw the cover it landed on my TBR, my gut feeling told me this would be a gem and I wasn't disappointed at all.

My sincere thanks to Berkley for an advanced copy (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.

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