The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Berkley Publishing Group
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 20 Mar 2018
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. . . .
What makes a story? There are several answers to this question. When I read The Broken Girls, several things came to me. Most importantly truth in storytelling and how an author pulls it off. I am all for character development, plot driven stories. They are vital and this story has that but what about truth? Truth in human emotions. Truth in exploring one’s past. Truth in what haunts us. I can honestly say that St. James is an author to follow in these attributes of well-drawn stories. She really connects you to the characters and their story. That is truth. Each character has their own struggles and it brings the plot together in a delicious package of mystery, friendships heartache and meaningful human connections.
I was also delighted to feel a bit creeped out by the small town and the boarding school. The author makes you want to explore the ruins of Idlewild Hall and its past even further. I could easily read another story about the characters and location. Meaning, I didn’t want this story to end!
I can’t really pinpoint which characters stood out to me the most. They were all strong and interesting in this story and I sympathized with them all.
I really like the premise of a journalist who goes to no end to reveal the mystery surrounding her sister’s death and how the present day connects to the past in more than just one way.
I have to say that I feel sorry for the readers who have to wait to read this story when its published. The Broken Girls is truly an amazing story that has captivated me to no end and Simone St. James is my new favorite author! A must read.
I have rated this book five stars!
I obtained a copy of this book from the publishers through NetGalley.
Stephanie M. Hopkins