Tuesday intro: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon.

tuesdayI’m also joining in with Teaser Tuesday, hosted by The Purple Booker, where you share teasers from your current read. I read a lot of these posts over the course of an average Tuesday so thought it would be fun to join in here too.

This week, I’m reading a book that people seem to think is either brilliant or blah but that I have wanted to read for a while and which has been taunting me from my kindle…

30689335Roanoke 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 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.

Here’s how it starts…

The first time I saw Roanoke was in a dream.  I knew little of it beyond its name and the fact it was in Kansas, a place I had never been.  My mother only ever mentioned it when she’d had too much wine, her breath turned sweet and her words slow and syrupy like molasses.  So my subconscious filled in the rest.  In my dream it stood tall and stately, tucked among a forest of spring-green trees.  Its red-brick façade was broken up by black shutters, white trim, delicate wrought-iron balconies.  A little girl’s fantasy of a princess castle. 

And here are some teasers…

“We stop talking after that, wilting under the brutal sun.  According to Kate, it hasn’t rained in Osage Flats in weeks, since long before I returned, and the dust we kick up settles in my throat, a fine gauze of dirt lacing my tongue.” (page 76)

“HIs words slam into my body, violent as punches, and I struggle for air against the rising tide of my heartbeat.” (page 177)

What do you think – would you keep on reading?

Emma x


  1. I am intrigued by the blurb and opening paragraph, and I love the cover. I think I’d like to read a bit more – maybe the first chapter – before deciding to read it all. Your comment has me interested – “brilliant or blah.” I do hope it’s not blah.


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