Rating: 4.5 / 5
I have seen a ton of rave reviews for THE BROKEN GIRLS by Simone St. James and I loved her more recent book THE SUN DOWN MOTEL so I have been wanting to get back to the authors’ backlist. After saying pretty much all year that I hoped to get to THE BROKEN GIRLS soon, I finally did!
THE BROKEN GIRLS follows along two timelines. In 1950 Vermont, Idlewild Hall is a place where problem girls are sent to continue their education outside of the public eye. Thought to be haunted, there is a bit of a sinister cloud surrounding the facility and the girls who go there. This timeline switches POV between several of the girls as they navigate the school life and the legends that surround the haunting of the site.
In the 2014 timeline journalist Fiona is haunted by Idlewild Hall, the location where her sister was found murdered years before. When she hears that the site has been purchased for restoration, her unanswered questions are again stirred up. When another body is found in the excavation of the site, Fiona is determined to get answers.
I am so glad that I finally was able to pick up this hyped read and even more glad that it lived up to the hype for me! Simone St. James is definitely going to be an auto-buy author for me going forward. Dual timeline narratives can be a bit hit or miss for me and I often find myself wanting to read in one time period over the other, but this author really does an excellent job of keeping me hooked throughout all the different POVs and time periods.
This book is a bit of a genre mashup with mystery running throughout with a touch of the paranormal as well. The book was very atmospheric and had me hooked to the story from the very beginning. The overall story is very atmospheric and I enjoyed how the paranormal element was woven in as the characters explored the mysteries spread so far apart in time.
If you’re one of the other couple thriller fans who haven’t read this one yet, I would absolutely recommend it!