The Broken Girls

The Broken Girls

A suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare...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 whispe...

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Title:The Broken Girls
Author:Simone St. James
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Broken Girls Reviews

  • Kendall

    "Mary Hand, Mary Hand, dead and buried under land.... Faster, faster. Don't let her catch you. She'll say she wants to be your friend...."

    What a bloody brilliant story! The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a creepy, chilling, and BOLD ghost story. Oh my gosh... I absolutely loved how Simone created a mystery within a paranormal/ghost story. I have read previous novels where authors have tried to create a paranormal feel to the mystery/thriller and it failed miserably but wow... I am utterly

    "Mary Hand, Mary Hand, dead and buried under land.... Faster, faster. Don't let her catch you. She'll say she wants to be your friend...."

    What a bloody brilliant story! The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a creepy, chilling, and BOLD ghost story. Oh my gosh... I absolutely loved how Simone created a mystery within a paranormal/ghost story. I have read previous novels where authors have tried to create a paranormal feel to the mystery/thriller and it failed miserably but wow... I am utterly impressed with Simone's talent.

    What can I say about this novel? Plain and simple... READ it!

    Idlewild Hall is a boarding school for girls that are troublemakers or as you can say the "leftovers". Idlewild is located in Vermont and is rumored to be haunted by a woman in a black veiled dress.

    Katie, Sonia, Cece, and Roberta are roommates at Idlewild Hall who bond over this mysterious lady in black and the strange things that start happening at Idlewild until Sonia mysteriously vanishes without a trace in 1950.

    20 years later journalist Fiona Sheridan can't stop thinking about her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, Fiona's sister's body was found lying in the field of Idlewild Hall. Her sister's boyfriend has been found guilty and is serving time in prison. But, Fiona can't let her sister's case go and something isn't adding up.

    Is the death of her sister somehow linked to the missing girl Sonia in 1950? What secrets are being hidden about Idlewild Hall? Is Vermont hiding something more sinister about these mysterious girls that keep going missing?

    Simone does an amazing job with characterization and depth of illustration in this novel. I could not get enough of the beautiful writing and details in this creepy and chilling ghost story. I highly recommend this novel!

    Overall, 4.5 stars for this addicting read. Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley for an advanced arc in exchange for an honest review.

    Expected publication date: 3/20/18.

  • Deanna

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    4.5 Stars!!

    I’m not usually one for paranormal/ghost stories, but when I read the description for “The Broken Girls” I was really intrigued. I’m thrilled to say that this was even better than I expected.

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    4.5 Stars!!

    I’m not usually one for paranormal/ghost stories, but when I read the description for “The Broken Girls” I was really intrigued. I’m thrilled to say that this was even better than I expected.

  • Julie

    The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a 2018 Berkley publication.

    Now

    is my kind of book!!

    Set in Vermont, alternating between 1950 and 2014, this well rounded thriller, centers around a girl’s only school named Idlewood Hall. During the fifties, this school was where troubled girls were sent, and where a group of girls forge an unlikely and formidable friendship which would cause a rippling effect for decades to come.

    Over the years, the abandoned school was nothing more than an eyesore

    The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a 2018 Berkley publication.

    Now

    is my kind of book!!

    Set in Vermont, alternating between 1950 and 2014, this well rounded thriller, centers around a girl’s only school named Idlewood Hall. During the fifties, this school was where troubled girls were sent, and where a group of girls forge an unlikely and formidable friendship which would cause a rippling effect for decades to come.

    Over the years, the abandoned school was nothing more than an eyesore, protecting its memories and ghosts from the outside world, its most recent claim to fame being the general location of where Fiona Sheridan’s sister was found dead over twenty years ago.

    Now, in present day, 2014, someone has taken an interest in Idlewood, determined to restore the old boarding house, which only intensifies Fiona’s obsession over her sister’s death. She convinces her boss to allow her to do a story about the school's restoration for the magazine she works for. While she barely manages to conceal her ulterior motives, the restoration efforts inadvertently led to a shocking discovery, and sends her down a rabbit hole, as she searches, not only for peace of mind concerning her sister’s death, but for the answers to a decades old mystery.

    This gloomy, atmospheric thriller enveloped me in its Gothic fog, keeping me utterly riveted and on the edge of my seat from the beginning to end.

    The creepy aura surrounding Fiona’s investigation into her sister’s death is nail biting suspense at its finest. This is a crime drama, thriller, and chiller all rolled into one. While the haunting of Idlewood adds a deliciously spooky element to the story, what is truly haunting is the heavy toll that losing a daughter and sister had on Fiona and her family, as well as the ever present feeling of impending doom.

    But, the mystery of the disappearance of one of Idlewood’s boarders during the fifties was a story that goes beyond the ghostly rumors. It is poignantly sad and infuriating tale, that slowly morphs into an inspirational and touching story of friendship and long overdue closure.

    I have always been a sucker for a good ghost story, mainly because contrary to the creepy, spooky, chilling aspects of hauntings, more often than not, ghosts are quite often helpful, or asking for help from the living, to give them long sought after peace, which is a not at all frightening when you look at it from that angle. This story is no exception, but I have to tell you, this ghost story packs a powerful punch and is incredibly edgy!!

    But, mostly, this story is about solving all the mysteries surrounding two very different types of crimes, with two entirely separate circumstances. The author manages to connect the past to the present fluidly, despite the stark differences in themes and urgency. While the location and Idlewood provide a physical link, it is really the power of familial love and the enduring bonds of friendship, with a little help from beyond, that brings everyone and everything together in the end.

    This story is evenly paced, giving the well timed twists a great deal of power. It is very well written, and embodies everything I love about a good thriller. Overall, this was an immensely satisfying read.

    Pulling out all the stars for this one! 5 stars!!

  • Mary Beth

    The setting is in Vermont. There are rumors that the boarding school Idlewild Hall is haunted. This is a place where girls go who are troublemakers, illegitimate and too smart for their own good. Their parents rarely visit them. Four roommates are friends and they bond very well until one of them disappears.

    Fiona Sheridan is a journal

    The setting is in Vermont. There are rumors that the boarding school Idlewild Hall is haunted. This is a place where girls go who are troublemakers, illegitimate and too smart for their own good. Their parents rarely visit them. Four roommates are friends and they bond very well until one of them disappears.

    Fiona Sheridan is a journalist. Twenty years ago her sister's body was found lying in the overgrown fields, near the ruins of Idlewood. Her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder. She keeps revisiting the events surrounding her sister's death. Fiona has a strong suspicion that the case isn't what it was made out to be. Fiona then finds out that Idlewild Hall is being restored and decides to write a story about it.

    Shockingly she discovers that the renovations link to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past.

    This is an awesome spooky ghost story plus a great mystery. It is so much more than your average ghost story. If you usually don't like ghost stories, I still think you would like this one. It is a Gothic suspense novel and I could just feel the Gothic atmosphere brewing. It is more of a mystery than horror. It didn't really scare me but the secrets were frightening but more suspenseful. It was also very chilling.

    It hooked me in straight from the beginning and didn't let go until the very end. The suspense kept me turning the pages and kept me reading into the earl hours of the morning. The story goes back and forth from the past to the present. From 1950 to 2014, two stories merge into one. There are several twist and turns that gave me surprises that I didn't see coming with a great murder plot.

    The book is very well written and is a character driven novel. I just loved some of the characters. I recommend this to those who like a Gothic suspense novel.

    I got this arc on Edelweiss.

  • Meredith

    There’s something sinister at work in Barrons, Vermont at the abandoned Idlewild Hall. Ghosts have been seen, bodies have been found, and secrets have been long buried. When a journalist begins digging into the dark, dismal history of Idlewild, she exposes a web of corruption and hidden crimes.

    In the 1950’s four girls were roommates and the best of friends at Idlewild Hall, a boarding school for “troubled” gir

    There’s something sinister at work in Barrons, Vermont at the abandoned Idlewild Hall. Ghosts have been seen, bodies have been found, and secrets have been long buried. When a journalist begins digging into the dark, dismal history of Idlewild, she exposes a web of corruption and hidden crimes.

    In the 1950’s four girls were roommates and the best of friends at Idlewild Hall, a boarding school for “troubled” girls. The girls are the closest of friends and rely on each other to survive living in the repressive, gloomy, world of Idlewild. When of them goes mysteriously missing, the school believes she has run away, but the friends believe that she was murdered.

    Switch to 2014: When journalist Fiona Sheridan learns that Idlewild, which had been shut down and abandoned, is going to be restored she is determined to find out more, as Fiona has an inherent interest in Idlewild as it is the spot which her murdered sister’s body was found 20 years ago. The more and more Fiona digs up about Idlewild, the more she puts herself in danger.

    is an intelligent, well-written creepy, atmospheric read that I could not put down! There’s something about Simone St. James’ writing style that sucked me in--I honestly had to force myself to put this book down. The characters voices are compelling, and their stories equally interesting. I loved the eerie, gothic like atmosphere, and of course Mary Hand’s presence kept me on edge. There are some paranormal elements, which I normally would have rolled my eyes at, but they serve a purpose and really work in this book.

    I cannot say enough good things about

    ! I might just have to go reread and experience it all over again!

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

    The Broken Girls started off with a bang with a dynamically engaging prologue! Was there a ghost right from the start?

    If you think you do not enjoy ghost stories, I have to say, this one is executed well. Spooky is done with a light hand, not overdone, even feasible if that’s possible for a ghost story?! The atmosphere is perfectly staged with an old school building featuring “tooth-shaped windows.”

    Told in dual story lines, past and present,

    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

    The Broken Girls started off with a bang with a dynamically engaging prologue! Was there a ghost right from the start?

    If you think you do not enjoy ghost stories, I have to say, this one is executed well. Spooky is done with a light hand, not overdone, even feasible if that’s possible for a ghost story?! The atmosphere is perfectly staged with an old school building featuring “tooth-shaped windows.”

    Told in dual story lines, past and present, that later converge, I found the past timeline more interesting, which featured a boarding school in Vermont for “wayward” girls in the 1950s. I enjoyed the present storyline with Fiona, a journalist; but it was not as intriguing for me. The girls in the school were each so interesting and likeable, but I had a hard time telling them apart from one another, and I am really not sure why?

    Overall, this was a well-written, atmospheric, spooky ghost story, and one I enjoyed immensely.

    I read this with my Traveling Sisters, and as always, the discussion added so much to my experience with this book! Please see Norma and Brenda’s blog for all of the combined sister reviews and more:

    Thank you to Simone St. James, Berkley, and Edelweiss for the complimentary copy.

  • Melisa

    I am not one for supernatural books, but this one was SO well done, it had me believing in ghosts by the time I was finished. So well done, in fact, that I went and bought this author’s entire back catalogue of titles. Mary Hand is a fascinating character and her powers are definitely unique. I loved her storyline, and would have en

    I am not one for supernatural books, but this one was SO well done, it had me believing in ghosts by the time I was finished. So well done, in fact, that I went and bought this author’s entire back catalogue of titles. Mary Hand is a fascinating character and her powers are definitely unique. I loved her storyline, and would have enjoyed learning more about her history.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this dual timeline story, I think this structure worked really well for this book. I was totally invested in these characters and couldn’t wait to find out what happened to them.

    On a side note, I was in the car while waiting to pick up my kiddos from school, and a dear friend banged on my window to scare me, and I just happened to be reading this book. Let’s just say I screamed like crazy!😆

    This was a Traveling Sisters read and I thoroughly enjoyed the thoughts brought to the table by my friends. A very enjoyable experience!

    Advance copy provided by Edelweiss - thank you.

  • Norma

    3.5 stars!

    The Broken Girls was a quick, entertaining, fast-paced and atmospheric gothic mystery novel that was an enjoyable and satisfying read. I did enjoy the dual storylines, but I thought that the past timeline was a little more interesting than the present one though.

    I do love a good ghost story and the supernatural and I definitely thought the author delivered a spooky read here, but for some reason when I was reading this novel, I wasn't overly impressed with the author's prose though so

    3.5 stars!

    The Broken Girls was a quick, entertaining, fast-paced and atmospheric gothic mystery novel that was an enjoyable and satisfying read. I did enjoy the dual storylines, but I thought that the past timeline was a little more interesting than the present one though.

    I do love a good ghost story and the supernatural and I definitely thought the author delivered a spooky read here, but for some reason when I was reading this novel, I wasn't overly impressed with the author's prose though so that really affected my total enjoyment for this novel. I was the only one from the Traveling Sisters that was reading this that had a problem with that though so I still absolutely recommend this novel!

    Update: Thank you so much to NetGalley, Berkley Publishing Group, and Simone St. James for also providing me with a copy of this book to read and review.

    Thank you so much to Edelweiss for the advanced copy of this book!

    Review written and posted on our themed book blog:

    Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading

    Coulee: a term applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley.

    Where I live I am surrounded by Coulees!

  • Kaceey

    A dark, haunting novel that includes a whopper of a ghost story. When I first sought out this book I had no idea the plotline involved a supernatural element. Had I known, I probably would have just passed on it. And boy, what a shame that would’ve been. In fact, the supernatural slant ended up being my favorite part of the book!

    So even if ghosts tend to scare, (like they do for me👻) don’t run! It blends perfectly into the story.

    The book is split into two timelines. Past and present. Intere

    A dark, haunting novel that includes a whopper of a ghost story. When I first sought out this book I had no idea the plotline involved a supernatural element. Had I known, I probably would have just passed on it. And boy, what a shame that would’ve been. In fact, the supernatural slant ended up being my favorite part of the book!

    So even if ghosts tend to scare, (like they do for me👻) don’t run! It blends perfectly into the story.

    The book is split into two timelines. Past and present. Interestingly, I was completely captivated by the past timeline and left wanting more. Versus the present storyline, that I found more difficult to stay connected to and felt it just didn’t mesh with the feel of the rest of the book.

    Overall I found it to an enjoyable read and would recommend!

    This was a very large and engaging Traveling Sister read!

    Thank you to Edelweiss for an ARC to review.

    For this review and our full Traveling Sister review please visit Brenda and Norma's fabulous blog:

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