The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel. Review 

It’s a weird thing, but what actually prompted me to read this book was the association of the word ‘Roanoke’ with the most recent series of American Horror Story. Which is laughable because it’s not remotely related in subject matter. 

In fact The Roanoke Girls has a plot which defines the word ‘horror’ a lot more than American Horror Story ever did. 


Lane Roanoke lives in New York with her mum who refuses to speak about growing up at the big Roanoke House in rural Kansas. But Lane dreams of the beautiful house and the people inside. 

”Did you wake up screaming?’ A dribble of milk ran down my chin.‘Huh?’ She turned and glanced at me then, her skin pale, eyes redrimmed. The bones of her face looked sharp enough to cut. ‘Was it a nightmare?’ I shook my head, confused and a little scared. ‘No’. She looked back out the window. ‘Then it was nothing like that.” 

But when her mum commits suicide Lane is dragged into life at Roanoke with her gran and grandad and her cousin Allegra who loves Roanoke life more than seems right. 

The thing about this novel is that you know what’s going on almost immediately but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with or less frightening and definitely not less thrilling. 


Gripping from start to finish, Amy Engal has a beautiful way of writing, her descriptions are wonderfully woven together and her characters jump out of the page. 

One of the best books I’ve read in ages it’s going to stay with me for a while. 

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