THE BROKEN GIRLS, by Simone St. James, Berkley/Random House


A 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. . . .

Out March, 2018


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

There’s an undeniable edginess to this story.  With so much going on in the first half, jumping from one POV to the next, one plot turn after another, it took a bit to get through what I’d consider the building of the backstory, working through the two time-lines presented at times moved glacially.  Although important to the rest of the book, it did detract from what could have been an incredible story.

The supernatural element is interesting enough to keep you going and once the mid-way point hits, the pace picks up.  The setting of the 1950s shifting to the present is a great combination in comparison.  Girls from the 50s were expected to be “good” girls, fun loving and innocent.  Reality dictates that there is no such thing. So what to do with those girls that don’t conform to the considered “norm?”

They were sent away, to change their minds. Interesting concept and possibly banking a bit on reality for this time period.  In an atmosphere surrounded by secrets and lies, combined with this “broken girl” element; and then, murder, mayhem, and a supernatural/paranormal element added… you get a story that’s twisted, dark and revealing a side to human nature, no one wants to own, but exists.

When facing our most darkest of fears, we must ask ourselves… are we truly ready to see the truth?

Well-written, interesting premise, excellent author’s voice and writing style… Characters are developed fully, fleshed out and three-dimensional. There are some turns in the plot that seemed aimless and pointless, they didn’t really do anything to the story but make me feel like I was reading “filler.” This happened mostly at the beginning.  These areas didn’t impact on the plot, or serve any other purpose that I could see.

Overall, it was enjoyable and worthy of a read.

I gave this book:



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