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Cover image for The broken girls
Format:
Title:
The broken girls
ISBN:
9780451476203

9780451489388
Edition:
First edition.
Publication:
New York : Berkley, 2018.
Physical Description:
326 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
More than sixty years after one of four friends in a reputedly haunted boarding school goes missing, journalist Fiona Sheridan resolves to learn her sister's fate before a harrowing discovery is made.

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 of Barrons, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears-- until one of them mysteriously disappears. 2014: Journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death twenty years earlier; Deb's body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. Now the Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, and shocking secrets are uncovered-- secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past ... and a voice that won't be silenced.
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ST. JAMES Simone
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FICTION - ST. JAMES
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FICTION - ST. JAMES
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St. James, S.
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FIC ST. JAMES 2018
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FICTION ST. JAMES
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St. James, S.
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St. James, S.
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St. James, S.
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FIC ST. JAMES
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St. James, S.
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St. James
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On Order

Summary

Summary

The "clever and wonderfully chilling" (Fiona Barton) 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 whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears...

Vermont, 2014 . As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion 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 the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced...


Author Notes

Simone St. James is the award-winning author of Lost Among the Living ; The Other Side of Midnight ; Silence for the Dead ; An Inquiry into Love and Death, which was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel from Crime Writers of Canada; and The Haunting of Maddy Clare , which won two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time.


Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Fiona, a journalist, looks into the closed case of her sister's murder at a Vermont school for troubled girls and unintentionally stirs up terrifying secrets of the past. Told in the alternating voices of Fiona in 2014 and four teenage girls in 1950, the book follows events that culminate in two violent murders. Twenty years ago, Fiona's older sister Deb was discovered dead on the grounds of Idlewild, a dilapidated boarding school. Deb's boyfriend was arrested and incarcerated for her murder, but grief-stricken Fiona had lingering doubts about his guilt. Now, someone plans to reopen the former school in spite of its tragic history and rumored ghost, so Fiona uses the opportunity to investigate. After construction on Idlewild reveals a skeleton, Fiona's focus centers on the two cases, her complicated relationship with her policeman boyfriend, and the maddening spirit that whispers the victims' darkest secrets. St. James wastes no words in this chilling page-turner. Vivid, haunting descriptions and spare, purposeful dialogue put readers right in the middle of the dusty classrooms where schoolgirls endured unspeakable abuse and a ghostly voice murmurs, "Hold still." Well-crafted characters and scenes highlight the differences between gender expectations of the past and today. VERDICT Give this frightening suspense novel to lovers of thrillers. Perfect for fans of gripping crime drama and/or gothic stories.-Sandi Jones, Wynne High School, AR © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

St. James (Lost Among the Living) graduates to hardcover with this creepy supernatural thriller set in small-town Vermont. In 2014, journalist Fiona Sheridan's interest in finding out the truth about her sister's murder-which occurred 20 years earlier near Idlewild Hall, an abandoned girls' boarding school-is revived by the news that the property is being restored by a mysterious out-of-towner. Fiona's boyfriend and the police in his family, however, don't want her digging too deep. Flashback to 1950, when four roommates at Idlewild build deep friendships while dealing with the sinister presence of Mary Hand, a veiled ghost whom generations of students claim haunts the garden where her dead baby is buried. Mary is a pervasive but subtle influence who makes everyone in both eras feel "so horribly afraid." All the characters must also cope with human-produced horrors such as torture and neglect. The two story lines converge on a satisfyingly settled if unhappy ending. Readers will want to see more in this vein from St. James. Agent: Pam Hopkins, Hopkins Literary Associates. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* St. James' riveting genre-blender combines a supernatural tale with intertwined mysteries from the 1950s and today. The historical story line features four girls who have been sent to Idlewild Hall, a forbidding Vermont boarding school where the education is as meager as the care. One of the four, Sonia, is particularly in need of love and attention but gets none, and her disappearance is swept under the rug as her friends' pleas for a search go unheeded. The later story takes place in 2014, when Idlewild is again central to a mystery: What exactly happened to the murdered sister of Fiona Sheridan, a journalist who sees the renovation of the school as her chance to get to the bottom of the crime. Haunting events in both eras literally is the malevolent spirit of Mary Hand, a terrifying figure whom the schoolgirls encounter regularly. This horror-tinged mystery is frighteningly believable, peopled with feisty characters, and features top-notch dialogue. St. James, who won the 2013 RITA Best First Book award for The Haunting of Maddy Clare (2013), might have another prizewinner on her hands.--Verma, Henrietta Copyright 2018 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Idlewild Hall, a boarding school in rural Vermont, lies abandoned, a victim of economic downturns and rumors of its dark past. Murders took place there, students disappeared, and it's purported to be haunted. Local journalist Fiona Sheridan's sister Deb's body was found on the grounds, and her boyfriend was convicted of her murder. When Fiona learns that the property has been sold and renovations are planned, she decides to investigate the school's past for a magazine article and try to quell some of her own demons as well. Her research reveals the school was a dumping ground for unwanted and misbehaving daughters who were confined as much as educated. Fiona's snooping uncovers suggestions of brutality and paranormal activity. She also finds links from her sister's murder to those of others killed at the school, buried and intended to remain forgotten. Fiona's detective work, assisted by her policeman boyfriend, suggests a modern-day Nancy Drew story for adults. Verdict This modern gothic tale by the author of The Haunting of Maddie Clare is a real page-turner and just creepy enough to keep readers satisfyingly on edge. Perfect for a dark and stormy night.-Susan Clifford Braun, Bainbridge Island, WA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.