The Broken Girls by Simone St. James Review

I picked up The Broken Girls because I adored The Sun Down Motel. The Broken Girls synopsis sounded like something I would really love. I expected to enjoy this more than The Sun Down Motel, but I was wrong. Here’s why.

Vermont, 1950. Idlewild Hall is a boarding school for unwanted girls. Some are trouble makes, some illegitimate, and some just have nowhere else to go. Local legend says it is haunted and no one know that better than Katie, Roberta, Sonia, and CeCe.

Vermont, 2014. A body was found twenty years ago at the ruins of Idlewild Hall. Fiona Sheridan will never forget the day when they found her sister. While her sister’s boyfriend was convicted of murder, Fiona believes that something is still off about the case.

When Idlewild Hall is being restored Fiona decides to write a newspaper article about it. But a shocking discovery brings up secrets that were meant to stay hidden.

The first half of the story was great. I loved getting to know the Idlewild girls. They all had unique personalities that set them apart. I enjoyed learning about the ghost of Idlewild Hall through their individual narratives. I also enjoyed their back stories and the small glimpse of life in the 1950’s that we got through that.

I had a harder time connecting with Fiona. She made a lot of decisions that I just couldn’t understand. I did enjoy her perspective as a writer, but otherwise I didn’t connect with her.

About a quarter of the way in the book began to shift. I could tell it was taking another direction. With this shift, I could tell that my favorite aspect of the story, the ghost, was becoming less important. Really by the end the ghost had very little significance. It was like oh, here is a murder mystery and there just happens to be a ghost. I was expecting some connection to the ghost, but there wasn’t any. The story would not have been altered at all if the ghost hadn’t been included.

The ending was where it really lost me. It was rushed and too easy. It was all wrapped up in a little bow. I did like how the 1950’s timeline was connected to the 2014 timeline, but otherwise it was anticlimactic.

My Rating: 3/5

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