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The Broken Girls Review: Back-of-Book Description
A journalist uncovers the dark secrets of an abandoned boarding school in this chilling suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel.
Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants—the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the ones too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall, and local legend says the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their friendship blossoming—until one of them mysteriously disappears….
Vermont, 2014. Twenty years ago, journalist Fiona Sheridan’s elder sister’s body was found in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And although her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of the murder, Fiona can’t stop revisiting the events, unable to shake the feeling 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 renovations links the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past—and a voice that won’t be silenced….
The Broken Girls Review: My Thoughts
I purchased this book last year when I was in a bookstore with a gift card to spend. At the time I had recently read The Sun Down Motel and, remembering how much I liked it, I decided to get this one.
But then it sat there on my shelf for a while. In fact, I actually purchased and read Simone St. James’ newest book (The Book of Cold Cases) before this one, back in April. Click on the name and check out my review – but spoiler, I liked it.
October rolled around and I remembered her spooky style, so I decided it was time for this one! (That’s right – October. I’m two months behind on reviews. Sorry about that!)
Right away I enjoyed that it had a past and present component. Something interesting about it, though, was that instead of it just being one POV in the past and another POV in the present, Broken Girls has four different POVs in the past – four different girls who are attending the boarding school.
That was a cool, unique element that gave it more depth. I also helped with the suspense since there were more characters that could tie into the present. It also presented a lot of “red herrings” about who the villain (in addition to the ghost) could be.
All of the characters seemed well-written and the author had given plenty of thought to their backstories and personalities. This author also writes in a way that provides a lot of descriptions of the character’s appearance. And she writes their dialogue well – the conversations all work to further the story.
In general, I enjoy this author’s writing and found the book easy to read. I never really find a lot of quotes in her books that stand out, but the three in this one were pretty good!
Favorite Quotes from The Broken Girls:
“There is no justice, but we stand for it anyway. Justice is the ideal, but justice is not the reality.”
“That was what the books did—they turned off your thinking for you, put their thoughts in your head so you wouldn’t have your own.”
“Books were her salvation…books became more than mere stories. They were her lifeline, the pages as essential to her as breathing.”
The Broken Girls Review: In Conclusion
My new tradition of reading a Simone St. James book in October did not disappoint, although it was a little less creepy than I was expecting. Overall I think The Broken Girls gets 4 stars. It was intriguing, slightly spooky, and had a cool past-present tie-in that she does so well.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes a thriller with a supernatural aspect, or who is looking for a cool spooking suspense.
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