Friday, April 27, 2018

The Broken Girls

Simone St. James is one of my favorite authors. I love the haunting, suspenseful atmosphere she always manages to create and how her novels are that perfect combination of ghost story and mystery. Her latest, The Broken Girls, is no exception. The narrative alternates between 1950 and 2014 and involves the murders of two girls. There's more, of course, but I feel like pretty much everyone has already read and reviewed this one, so I thought I'd just mention a few of the things I liked best about it:

The Setting:  Idlewild Hall, an isolated boarding school in Vermont for girls that no one else wants. (It also happens to be haunted.)

The main character/narrator:  Fiona Sherida, a freelance writer whose sister was murdered 20 years ago. She's stubborn and fiercely independent and determined to uncover the secrets of Idlewild Hall.

The ghost:  the mysterious Mary Hand, who roams the grounds of Idlewild, bringing people's worst nightmares to life. But who was she in real life?

If you couldn't tell, I liked this one a lot! It's fast-faced, deftly written and practically impossible to put down once you start. The boarding school girls and Fiona are all great characters....I was quickly drawn into their stories, and found myself liking each and every one. And the ghost? She's great, too. I just wish she'd had more of a presence. This book felt more weighted on the mystery side of things than the supernatural this time around. But it's still a great read, with a satisfying ending. So...

Happy Reading!

24 comments:

  1. :) I really liked this one! I'm always drawn to ghosts and the supernatural, but most books fail to make me believe. The Broken Girls, with its contemporary mystery and its supernatural element was such a great combination!

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    1. It really was, wasn't it? St. James is such a good author. :)

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  2. This is my favourite Simone book so far. I'm glad you loved it, too. :)

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    1. It's a great read! My only regret was in finishing it so fast. :)

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  3. I agree -- I was surprised to find that this was more of a mystery than a horror/ghost novel. I didn't mind, though. It had the creepy atmosphere and the "What is real?" vibe and you're right, it was IMPOSSIBLE to put down. Glad you enjoyed it as well :)

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    1. It does have a very creepy atmosphere throughout. :)

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  4. I haven’t read this one yet so you’re not the only one. I have it on hold on overdrive. Hopefully it gets in soon.

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  5. I have this one on my TBR list. Ever since I read Lois Duncan's "Down a Dark Hall" years ago, I have loved the concept of haunted boarding school, haha. Looks like this one will be a fun read.

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    1. Down A Dark Hall is a classic! I should reread that this summer. :)

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  6. A ghost/mystery story set in a girls boarding school for misfits sounds great! My library has it too!

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    1. Oh, yay! I hope you enjoy it. Have you ever read this author before?

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    2. Nope! This book would be my first title from her. :D

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    3. If you like this one, then be sure to try Inquiry Into Love and Death; it's my favorite. :)

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  7. Thanks for this review, Lark. I want to read more in the suspense genre and am curious about novels that feature ghosts as characters and this novel sounds really good so I will put it on my list

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    1. She's a good author. I've enjoyed all the books I've read by her. :)

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  8. I've never read St. James! I feel like I'm missing out.

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    1. You should give one of her books a try. They're suspenseful, and some of her ghosts are pretty creepy and scary. :)

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  9. I've read so many great reviews of this one and I do have it but just haven't gotten to it. Sounds like such a great read!

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    1. St. James has written another good one! :)

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  11. this looks so good. I have my eye on it for a while. I have never read this author before and very curious about this one. I am glad to see you loved it. I think I will love the setting as well.

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    1. I love this author! I would recommend any one of her books, especially if you like ghosts and a touch of the supernatural in your mysteries. :)

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