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Publisher's Summary

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

After her mother's suicide, 15-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 as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran...fast and far away.

Eleven years later Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run, too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane's first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

©2017 Amy Engel (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"I was immediately drawn into The Roanoke Girls, a haunting and riveting look at one family's tangled legacy. You won't stop reading until you've unraveled the darkest of Roanoke's shocking secrets." (Laura McHugh, award-winning author of The Weight of Blood)
"This is a poised and haunting novel, whose enchanting prose belies its dark and intense subject matter. An evocative modern take on Southern Gothic, with a compelling twist which will remain with you long after the book's last sentence." (L. S. Hilton, author of Maestra)
"An emotionally compelling page turner, The Roanoke Girls takes you inside the dark world of a twisted family and one woman's fight to break free from the chains of her own history. This is family intrigue at its very best!" (Wendy Walker, author of All Is Not Forgotten)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • NikNakbzz
  • overland park, KS, United States
  • 01-30-18

Holy Hell

Where does The Roanoke Girls rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

very disturbing & sad

What other book might you compare The Roanoke Girls to and why?

I can't even think of any others

What about Brittany Pressley’s performance did you like?

She did a great job especially with the content of this book is very

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

WHAT THE F

Any additional comments?

It's crazy to think what can go on behind closed doors and you never really know what people are going through. The content of this book was hard to listen to but ultimately shows how people can get their minds warped and how it can affect them

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Robin
  • New Jersey
  • 02-16-18

Side-eyeing these reviews and backing up slowly

Would you try another book from Amy Engel and/or Brittany Pressley?

Was expecting a suspense novel - got incest erotica instead.The sexy, breathy, growly narration made it extra disturbing. 80% of this book is descriptive sexual scenes between teenagers and relatives. 15% is descriptive sexual scenes between consenting adults (ok, fine). 5% whodoneit. Also, completely not believable. I'm no pearl clutcher but WTF?

Would you listen to another book narrated by Brittany Pressley?

Maybe. It wasn't a deal breaker.

Was The Roanoke Girls worth the listening time?

NO

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Subject is Warped

I have a very hard time actually rating this book. While the writing is good, the subject is so warped! I would list this among the “slime” books. You will need several light funny books to counteract the mental sleeze effect of this book. SO... is it a five for the vile disgust reaction it creates or a zero for the content and subject? This book is not at all what I expected from the description. The subject is very warped! If things stick with you, don’t bother, you will hate the fact that you can’t stop reading. When you finish, you will wish you never started!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book!

While this book / subject may not be for everyone, I found it so interesting. Far fetched in some ways but not unbelievable. The story moves along quickly and every chapter is well done even the "then" ones. Narration is excellent. Might be the best book of the year for me!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not for the Faint of Heart

Who was your favorite character and why?

Each of the characters in this novel are deeply flawed. Even the protagonist, Lane, is unlikable at moments. I can't say that I have a clear favourite as even the ones you have high hopes for let you down with their flaws. I think that this is what I find most beautiful about this book, the human nature. It's an interesting practice in learning to like someone flaws and all. There are the certain characters who's flaws are unforgivable and that's what makes the story so compelling.

What about Brittany Pressley’s performance did you like?

I loved Brittany's voice, the way she shifted between characters was so seamless. Really, she just has such a pleasant voice, I could listen to her all day. She acts out the scenes so well, never over the top and always appropriately emotional. I must also commend her for giving each scene the right emotion despite how disturbing the material was. Though certain scenes were difficult to stomach, Brittany did the author's words justice and brought the right emotions to properly play out each scene. After finishing The Roanoke Girls I immediately started looking for another book narrated by her.

Any additional comments?

The subject matter of this book is dark. Very dark. It dives deeper into the macabre than most YA novels would. Warning to the wise, if incest is a topic you are not interested in reading about, if it will ruin your experience of the mystery, steer clear. If, like me, the more taboo topics of society are something you want to delve into than this is a great listen. The story is compelling, I couldn't stop listening. The way the story unfolds leaves you itching for the next chapter the moment the last is done. I will say, the twists aren't the most chocking. The story is laid out in a way that despite knowing what is coming you need to know how it all end up there.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

This book was disappointing. The story line a bit far-fetched (even for fiction) and the way the voices were read was over the top and irritating. I kept thinking it would get better and continued through to the end, but it became more and more ridiculous.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Ick, ugh, yuck! Spoilers ahead!

The Roanoke girls either run away from home, die, or both. Why? You ask? Well, because one man simply must have sex with all his female relatives: sisters, nieces, daughters, granddaughters. There’s quite a list of them. As if the sheer number isn’t enough, they all walk willingly into his bed around the age of 14. He’s been grooming them, of course. Few escape. I won’t say whether the narrator (Lane) escapes this fate or not. Or what happened to Allegra. But I will say just about everyone in this novel, including Lane run the gamut from understandably awful to evil. Regardless, there’s practically nobody in the novel to like. I’m guessing that wasn’t the author’s point.

What the author’s point was exactly, I don’t know. If she wanted us to understand the mind of a perpetrator, the perpetrator’s wife who just let it go on, and the victim, I’d say giving the reader this “festival of incest” was the wrong way of going about it. It certainly was for me.

And to boot, the ending was absurd—well, the bit before the actual ending.

I read the author’s 2 YA dystopian novels and liked them so I didn’t read any reviews before downloading this. Big mistake. I will be returning this. And putting the author on my “never again” list.

27 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

wow

Very sad, but intriguing storyline. I did not expect the turn in the story. Enjoyed it!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not for everyone

You can figure out what is happening from the beginning. Or I could working for DCFS. But I think the characters were well done.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Just Okay

It was a little hard for me to get through this story because of the voices used for each character. Just kept rubbing me the wrong way and were a bit distracting. That being said, the story itself is interesting and heart breaking. I enjoyed it.