The Roanoke Girls is a disturbing, compelling read. While the “big, dark secret” is revealed early on, the story still draws the reader in. I had to find out what happened to the Roanoke girls, the sisters, aunts, cousins. They seemed to be such studies in contrast: darkness and fire, guilt and defiance, innocence and desire.
When Lane left Roanoke, the family home in rural Kansas, she never thought she would willingly return. Only one person could bring her back – her cousin Allegra, whose disappearance draws Lane back to a place she fled after learning her family’s dark secret.
The book goes back and forth between then and now, alternating between the summer Lane spent at Roanoke when she was sixteen and her desperate search for Allegra.
There are a few key characters in Lane’s life at Roanoke – her charming, loving grandfather, aloof grandmother, friend (who is now a cop) Tommy, and Cooper - the boy she loved, treated horribly, and left.
The Roanoke Girls explores the dark side of love, the kind of love that tears you up inside even as you crave it.