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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is one of those rare spooky ghost stories that caused me to take reading breaks because of the tension.   I know I've been mentioning this one since August, but I had to wait until closer to publication to post this review.  :)

A story told in two time frames; a boarding school story; a ghost story; a murder mystery--The Broken Girls truly gave me chills.  

In 1950 Vermont, a boarding school for recalcitrant girls (dumped there because they are unwanted or hard to manage) has been haunted since its inception.   The legends, true and/or exaggerated, have been passed down through the decades both orally and through messages in the school's textbooks.  Mary Hand knows--and the generations of girls who have attended Idlewild Hall are all affected by the truths she reveals. 

In 2014, a journalist haunted by the murder of her sister is shocked and disturbed that someone wants to restore Idlewild Hall.  She decides to write a story about the school, and that story leads to more mystery and danger.

Although I am often drawn to ghost stories, most books fail to satisfy or frighten me.  While reading The Broken Girls, I was able to  suspend disbelief and follow the story in past and present with bated breath.

Read in August; blog review scheduled for February, 2018.

NetGalley/Berkley Publishing Group

Mystery/Suspense/Supernatural.  March 20, 2018.  Print length:  336 pages.

I really wish this book had been scheduled for publication in October or November, months that seem particularly suitable for ghost stories.  

What are some of your favorite ghost stories?

12 comments:

  1. I think this is my favourite Simone St. James book so far. I loved the gothic element and not to mention the mystery intrigued me, too. I'll be posting my review nearer to the publication date. :)

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    1. It really is a great ghost story!

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  2. You know, I tried reading an earlier book by this author and it didn't work for me. However, I'm really looking forward to trying this one. I love ghost stories and always have. Plus I love books set at boarding schools - no idea why. I certainly didn't attend one - well, except for college. Gothic elements will get me every time.

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    1. I've tried another one of her earlier books and wasn't much impressed; too cozy. This is so different in writing style and complexity of plot!

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  3. I REALLY need my copy of this book to come! It sounds so good. :)

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    1. I hope all the hype doesn't lessen the enjoyment, but The Broken Girls met all my requirements for a good ghost story!

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  4. i only briefly skim the review because I reading this book next week. I LOVE ghost stories! Glad to see you liked it! I'll be back after I read it!

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    1. Writing a good ghost story that truly allows the reader to "suspend disbelief" must be one of the more difficult challenges for an author. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

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  5. I love a great ghost story and so glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I do have a copy of this one too so I hope to get to it soon.

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  6. I have not heard of this author before and I'm sure going to out Simone St. James! I love ghost stories and this one sounds like a good one! Thanks Jennie for your review!

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  7. This is one of the few ghost stories that measures up to my hopes and expectations, Sherri!

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