Oct 30, 2022

Review--The Broken Girls by Simone St. James


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 local legend says the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming -- until one of them mysteriously disappears...

Vermont, 2014. Twenty years ago, journalist Fiona Sheridan's elder sister's body was found in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And although her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of the murder, Fiona can't stop revisiting the events, unable to shake the feeling 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 renovations links the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past -- and a voice that won't be silenced...



After years of waiting, I've finally picked up a Simone St. James novel! I started with The Broken Girls as it was the first one I bought! I was expecting a creepy ghostly, mystery and while it was an eerie read and mysterious to boot, I could've used a little more ghostly encounters.

The Broken Girls is a story told in dual timelines, through many third person points of view. The past is where all the "multiples" lie, as there were four girls who were roommates at Idlewild Hall school for "troubled" girls. The past follows 4 young teenagers as they are trying to survive school and life. They've all been through terrible things that landed them in this school and there they found each other. But they also found out there is something not quite right about their school, and that is that it's haunted! The school is haunted by a ghost known as Mary and terrible things tend to happen when anyone sees the ghost.

In the present time of 2014, we follow Fiona, a journalist who learns that someone is trying to reopen the now abandoned Idlewild Hall. Fiona has reasons for wanting the school to stay closed. Mainly the fact that her sister was founded murdered on its grounds twenty years ago. The murder was solved, but Fiona was never quite satisfied with the answers that she got about the murder. It felt incomplete, even if the killer was convicted and thrown into jail.

Thus begins a rather evolved tale that goes back and forth from past to present as odd things continue to happen in the school and in the present, another dead body is found on the school's grounds. It's that of a young girl who was likely a student at a time at the school based on the body's age and decay. So we spiral into a sort of dual mystery here where in the past the girl's friends start to wonder what happened to her and in the present, Fiona is trying to figure out who the body is, but naturally, she winds up in more trouble than she bargained for.

This was definitely an interesting story! I enjoyed the dual timelines more than I thought I would. It was fairly easy to follow both of them along as things kind of hopped between them. I guess one thing I had hoped there would be more of was the ghostly encounters. There was definitely a ghost and that was its own mystery as well for both timelines. I wish maybe that could've been explored more or the ghost appeared more than she did. Just for a little more creepy factor. Other than that, it was still a pretty good mystery! I guess I had just hoped to have more ghostly business to it all.

Pacing wise, things were pretty sedate. It escalated at a moderate pace for a mystery. I usually don't expect anything fast paced when it comes to those and that's the right expectation for this one too. I was taken by surprised by the outcome that revealed itself in regards to Fiona's case. I was wondering what the big secret was going to be, as I couldn't really fathom any kind of idea! Lol. So yeah, when that came about it was pretty shocking!

The way things resolved were a mix of disappointing in the justice area and satisfying pretty much everywhere else! Lol, if that makes sense! I was content with where the characters were left off and it felt like things ended in a good place for everyone all around. While it wasn't necessarily the mystery I was hoping for, it was still a really good read and I intend to read more of this author as a lot of her books sound like thrilling mystery reads!

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are an award all on their own! So my blog is an award free one! Thanks for any consideration though!