Monday, March 19, 2018

Review: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

Title: The Broken Girls
Author: Simone St. James
Published: March 2018, Berkley Books
Format: ARC Paperback, 336 pages
Source: Publisher

A breakout suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare.
Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced. . . .

My thoughts: I first became aware of Simone St. James when I read her previous book, Lost Among the Living, which I really enjoyed. So of course, I knew I had to get my hands on her latest book...and I was so happy to have won a copy from a publisher giveaway!

While it's true that I am not a huge fan of pure ghost stories, I do like them when they are blended with a such a compelling tale as this one was. And what a story this one turned out to be - I mean it is chock full of secrets, there is this amazing thread running through that brings the past to the present, and the ghost story has just enough of a role throughout to give a creep factor without overplaying it's hand - it enhances and adds to the tension without becoming too much.

I am a big fan of dual timelines, but never have I seen it used so effectual as I have here. It was so easy to get caught up in the story lines going on here - both the present day and the past and I was equally engaged in both! I just couldn't get enough of both Fiona's story and the girls at the boarding school, and I loved that each time we were back in the past, we got a different girl's perspective, so we really got to know all four of the girls. 

This is a book that will totally consume you once you start reading it. I was able to think of nothing else once I delved into these pages and even after, I really haven't stopped thinking about it. These characters were so vividly drawn and even the setting was so vivid and atmospheric that it puts a chill in your bones as you frantically flip through the pages to find out what is going on. It is just haunting enough to keep you reading long past your bedtime until all the pieces have come together. I highly recommend this and look forward to reading more of Simone St. James's books...she is certainly an author I enjoy!



  1. I really enjoy dual timelines and this book sounds very good. Turned down by netgalley chances of getting this remote. Enjoyed your review.

  2. I've been reading many rave reviews. Can't wait to read this one.


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