Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The are many "Hauntings" at Idlewild School

Simone St. James
Berkley Books
March 20, 2018

Fiona Sheridan is a freelance journalist living in small-town Vermont. Despite being the daughter of a famous journalist, Fiona's career and life have very much been on hold since the murder of her older sister 20 years before. Her sister's body was found on the grounds of a defunct girl's boarding school, Idlewild. A man is in prison for the murder, but Fiona still has questions and can't let it go. Even her relationship with Jamie Creel, the police chief, and son of the chief who investigated her sister's murder is hampered by her questions and emotional distance.

Idlewild itself was a second, maybe third-rate school where families placed girls who were considered to be unmanageable. The girls were disciplinary problems; broken in some way by trauma, a little too smart for their own good, or just illegitimate. The Broken Girls switches between the story of four friends in 1950 and Fiona in 2014. One of the four friends went missing, and it was assumed she ran away with "some boy." Never mind that the girls had absolutely no unsupervised contact with the outside world.  The records from Idlewild have gone missing, no one associated with the school wants to talk about it, and the school itself is rumored to be haunted. When a body is discovered in a well during a renovation of the property, the missing girl case opens up again. Fiona is determined to get answers this time.

Those of us who have waited a long time for The Broken Girls will not be disappointed. It is intricate, suspenseful, and above all, emotionally involving.  I was utterly caught up in the stories of the four friends; Katie, Roberta, CeCe, and Sonia. I wanted to know what had happened to all of them, and if Fiona's quest would be successful. This blend of Gothic, mystery, suspense and ghost story is not to be missed! Thanks to Berkley and NetGalley for an advance digital copy. The opinions are my own.

RATING- 5 Stars

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