Tag Archives: Adult Fiction

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – Review

Title: The Roanoke Girls 

Author: Amy Engel

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Book Format: Paperback ARC 

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First of all, I want to thank Hodder and Stoughton for sending me an ARC of The Roanoke Girls, the ARC that I was sent was an absolutely studding edition of the book and this cover is so gorgeous with the roses and the slash across the cover tieing in so well with the story. But, now for the actual review… 

The Roanoke Girls is about a mysterious, rich family and their big mysterious house, each Roanoke Girl over the years either runs away from that house or dies. The story follows Lane Roanoke the daughter of one of the runways, when her mother dies she is sent to live with her grandparents at the grand Roanoke estate a place she has only heard about through the lips of her mother, a woman who ran away from that place as fast as a bullet from a gun.

The novel is told from two perspectives from teenage Lane and Lane ten years later, This book certainly has the ick factor and is not for the faint hearted! I know this book is being marketed as a mystery but really the story is not that mysterious. What is going on at Roanoke is revealed very early on it’s just the layers that get slowly peeled away.

This book certainly isn’t a fun ride it has the serious ick factor and certainly sent my moral compass into a right spin.

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It also has a narrative structure that felt reminiscent to books such as The Girls by Emma Cline and We Were Liars by E.Lockhart. I couldn’t help thinking have I been here before? Have I read this before? Which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing it just felt familiar and sadly I wouldn’t say, The Roanoke Girls wasn’t as good as either of these novels, it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t hit me right in the heart or in the head like some books do, nor did it leave a lasting impression.

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I know this book is being marketed as a mystery but really the story is not that mysterious. What is going on at Roanoke is revealed very early on it’s just the layers that get slowly peeled away.
The Roanoke Girls deals with complex and deeply troubling issues and it’s not self-serving of judgemental to the characters the writer just tells the story and allows the reader to make their minds up for themselves.

The novel has some interesting characters exploring the way we are all human and sometimes the people we think are perfect are the most flawed and the ones we think are the most flawed have the ability to be the most kind.
An interesting exploration of human relationships and the damage that one family can do to itself throughout the ages.

Worth a read.

3/5 Stars

I hope you enjoyed my review, I’ll see you next time!

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Bodies of Water by V.H Leslie Review

Title:Bodies of Water

Author:V.H Leslie

Publisher:Salt Publishing

Format:Paper Back

I have recently been looking for some good gothic fiction to read and on my new found hunt in all things gothic I came across Bodies of Water by V.H Leslie. I didn’t know this when I bought it but at 130 pages Bodies of Water is actually a novella but don’t let that put you off it is a steady burner and has a slow build and really gives the reader time to get enthralled into the world and become interested in the characters and their stories.

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Bodies of Water follows Kirsten and Evelyn both live in the building Wakewater House but in different periods in time. Kirsten moves into Wakewater in present day London while Evelyn is living at Wakewater in Victorian London. The two women have two very different lives and two very different experiences, while Kirsten is moving into her new flat Evelyn has been sent to a hydrotherapy centre for ‘women’s complaints’.

Wakewater house is on the River Thames and the river is a huge part of the story partly because of water treatments being used by ‘doctors’ who treated the women in the victorian Wakewater House.  But water is a strong theme running throughout the book and  a huge factor in tying the stories of Evelyn and Kirsten together.

An interesting and educated novella, Bodies of Water is not just a gothic ghost story but a study of women and a discussion about the repression that we have suffered over the centries and what the long term consqueses of that maybe.

I loved reading this and would definitely recommend to everyone who fancies a watery, creepy, ghostly time!

Paint and Butterflies Rating 5/5 Stars

Hope you enjoyed my Bodies of Water Review,

Happy reading everyone!

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The Girls by Emma Cline – Review

The Girls by Emma Cline is loosely based on the infamous US Manson Murders of 1969. When I first heard of this book I was unaware of the murders I had heard of the name Charles Manson but nothing more than that entered by consciousness. So my eagerness to read The Girls was purely based on the premise it’s self. Very quickly I researched the Murders, what happened and having that information became a important part of my reading experience.

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The Girls follows fourteen year old Evie, she is at an emotional time in her life, her parents her divorced and occupied by new partners, boys are just coming into her focus and her best friend is not so best any more. Rejected and alone Evie meets Suzanne a savage, wild and free young girl. Evie is drawn to her magnetic nature, her ruff beauty and the enigmatic girls who surround her.

What Emma Cline has done with the girls is really shown she understands young women and how obsessive they can be, friendships the world of friends and how devastating it can be when you are rejected from that world. Cline pens a tale where girl- hood is every thing and the murders that we know are coming are outside somewhere on the peripheral  of the story and very slowly start closing in all around us as  readers.

I did feel that the story got a little bit lost in the middle but it quickly won me back round. The writing is creepy and sent me on a 60’s trip and kept me morally on my toes, I would recommend this book to everyone it’s deep, hearty and emotional all the while keeping its story rooted deeply in the heart of girl hood.

The Girls has been optioned for a movie so keep your eyes peeled for all up and coming movie news here on Paint and Butterflies Books.

Paint and Butterflies Rating- 

3/5 Stars! 

Happy Reading Everyone!

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