THE BROKEN GIRLS
Author: Simone St. James
Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction
Published by: Berkley Books
Published on: March 20, 2018
Pages: 336 [hardcover]
Mary Hand Mary Hand,
Dead and buried under land.
She’ll say she wants to be your friend.
Do not let her in again.
The Broken Girls is entirely original. It is historically accurate with paranormal elements; it is supernatural yet fathomable. It is a ghost story intertwined with a concentration camp in World War II. It is past and present.
The setting is Barrons, Vermont, where Idlewild Hall, the boarding school for troubled girls open from 1912 until 1979, towers over the rural landscape. Town gossip will tell you the school is haunted by Mary Hand, who wears a black dress and veil. Alternating between 1950 and 2014, the story is told from differing viewpoints.
Katie, Sonia, CeCe, and Roberta are students at Idlewild Hall. Each with their own unique experiences (an understatement), they bond and help one another cope with their unfortunate placement. At Idlewild, magazines are banned, girls are punished for fainting or causing a scene, the teachers are strict, and a ghost haunts the halls.
Fiona Sheridan is a journalist in Barrons, Vermont. There is not much to write about in Barrons, unless you count local pie eating contests and the weather. Fiona is ecstatic when she gets wind that Idlewild Hall is being restored and reopened. Her groundbreaking story is here, but the dilapidated grounds of Idlewild Hall is where her sisters dead body was found 20 years ago… will she be able to keep a clear head?
What happened to Sonia?
What happened to Deb Sheridan?
What happened to the Idlewild school records?
What happened to the undocumented survivors of the Holocaust?
**Somehow, there are even more plot twists and all of my questions were answered upon completion.**
Although there are quite a few characters, with a detailed history behind each one, the writing remains fluid and coherent throughout.
Bonus Points for Superb Vocabulary!
frontispiece: (n.) 1. the principal front of a building 2. a decorated pediment over a portico or window
recalcitrant: (n.) 1. a person with an obstinately uncooperative attitude 2. (adj.): having an obstinately uncooperative attitude toward authority
incongruous: (adj.) not in harmony or keeping with the surroundings or other aspects of something, inappropriate, unsuited
languid: (adj.) weak or faint from illness or fatigue
dregs: (n.) the most undesirable or last remaining part, i.e. the dregs of society or the last dregs of fuel
*definitions are from Merriam Webster*