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Title: The Broken Girls
Author: Simone St. James
Publish Date: March 20, 2018
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…
Idlewild Hall was once a boarding school where wayward girls were sent. Since the opening of the school, there were rumors that it was haunted. The school closed in the 1970s and set abandoned until 2014. When the owner of the property decides to restore it, old secrets are revealed.
Told with the multiple timelines of 1950 and 2014. In 1950, four students at Idlewild bonded during their time there, but one of them mysteriously disappeared. In 2014, Fiona can’t stop thinking about her sister’s death twenty years earlier. Her sister’s body was found on the grounds of the abandoned boarding school, and Fiona can’t shake the feeling that there was something off about the case. Fiona is a journalist, and when she learns that a restoration project is set to begin on the school, she thinks it will make a good local interest piece. During Fiona’s visit to the school, a new discovery is made during the renovations.
This novel has a lot happening. For one, Fiona wants to know if there was more to her sister’s death. This is not a story about the wrong guy being caught and convicted for her sister’s death. It’s about there being more to the story than people were led to believe. While working on the article about the boarding school, Fiona discovers clues to an old cold case concerning a missing girl. Concerning the cold case, Fiona interviews old staff and students to connect the pieces. In amongst all of this, there is a ghost story. With so much happening, it is easy for a story to get messy, but this one came together nicely.
I’m not a big fan of paranormal mysteries, so I put off reading this one for a long time. Finally, I caved and checked it out at my local library. Even there, the librarian said how good it was and that she recommended it. So, while not exactly my genre, I had high hopes due to all the praise I’ve heard about this book. I’m happy to say that it was a captivating and suspenseful thriller, and I’m so glad I gave it a chance. Atmospheric, eerie, and compelling.
I borrowed this book from my local library.