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Sunday, March 11, 2018

REVIEW: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James @berkleypub @simone_stjames

The Broken Girls
by Simone St. James

Thanks so much to Berkley Pub for this amazing copy.
A historical fiction mystery with a touch of supernatural.  Add this to your list!

Publisher:  Berkley Pub
Publishing:  March 20, 2018
336 pages
Genres:  Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 Review:

This story spans two different timelines:  1950 and 2014.  Fiona, in 2014, is a journalist and wondering why Idlewild Hall is being restored and wants to write a story.  Little does she know the information that will be unburied.  These not only shed light on what happened back in 1950, but also what happened to her sister, who died years ago.  In 1950, we get the story of roommates Katie, Roberta, CeCe and Sonia.  At Idlewild, a school for wayward girls, seemingly haunted by Mary Hand.

I was not expecting the supernatural part of this story. (Probably a reason for me to reread synopses before I start a book!)  It brought a hauntingly chilling vibe that I really enjoyed.  It is not overdone and blends in perfectly that while I did get the chills in certain parts, it did not overwhelm the mystery part of the book.  Outstandingly done by the author. 

I was engaged from the very start of the book and found Fiona's tenacity  compelling.  I love a woman that doesn't back down and she certainly does NOT.  Following both timelines wasn't confusing... and I always find it interesting to see how different worlds are from one decade to another.  It's not that it's surprising, as we all have read these types of things, but adding in Mary Hand and Sonia's further background added a special touch to the storyline. 

Keep an eye out for more from Simone St. James.  I had already heard great things about this author and am happy to have entered into her world with this one first.  Looks like I'll be adding even more to my overflowing TBR pile.... never a bad thing.. right? 😉


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