Monday, March 12, 2018

The Broken Girls~Simone St. James (Published March 20, 2018)

St. James, Simone. 2018. The Broken Girls. New York, NY: Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House. ISBN: 978-0451476203. $26.00 USD.

I've been a fan of Simone St. James since reading The Haunting of Maddy Clare a number of years ago.  She has a great instinct for adding just the right amount of supernatural elements to her stories to make them interesting and believable.

In The Broken Girls, the the story takes place in Vermont across two timelines: the present day and the 1950s, when a group of girls resided at Idlewild Hall, a boarding school for young outcast women.  In the present day the main character, Fiona Sheridan, who is a journalist, discovers that someone has purchased the dilapidated manor house. This creates an obsession to research the history the school as she senses it's connected to her sister's death many years ago.  She isn't convinced the whole story of her sister's murder was really brought to light, and of course she's right.

In the narrative covering the past era, four residents of Idlewild Hall are introduced who have all "seen" or "heard" something that they think may be the ghostly presence of a young woman killed at the school in the 1800s.  There are mysteries to solve in the past and in the present, and the author does a great job of tying this non-linear narrative together.  I found The Broken Girls to be a very enjoyable (and spooky!) read. It's an excellent example of this genre.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher the Advanced Reader's Copy!

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