Review-The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

I received this book as a digital galley from First to Read. 

Trigger warning: Incest, suicide

This book was hard to get through. Not because it was boring or poorly written but because of the subject matter. The Roanoke Girls have been keeping a secret for years.


You find out pretty early on that Grandpa Roanoke has been sleeping with all of the Roanoke girls, starting with his sister Jane when she was fourteen and he was two years older. Jane gets pregnant and has a little girl, Penelope. She runs away, leaving her daughter behind. In the meantime he’s started noticing little sister Sophia. And then Penelope is getting older…

Eventually he marries an unrelated female and has three daughters. Three more Roanoke girls for him to choose from.

Well, two. The third daughter only lives to be six months old.

He waits until they can choose for themselves and decides that fourteen is old enough.

It is mentioned that he has a way of making them feel that he loves them when no one else does and it breaks my heart. There was no one else in their lives to make them feel loved.

Their mother, his wife? She knew. And did nothing but blame them for what happened to them. And later, murder them for it,so she’d have them to herself.

This horrific story is well told. The one thing I would change is that he is never really punished. His wife goes to prison for the murders but nothing happens to him. He is left alone with no wife and no more Roanoke girls, the truth comes out but that is the extent of his punishment. I wanted more.

And also Charlie. He knew and said nothing.

Overall rating, ❤❤❤ and a half. 

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