I know what you are thinking. “Seriously…Another book with “girl” in the title?!” But fear not! The Broken Girls, the recently released novel by Simone St. James, stood out for me! From the beautifully blended narratives to the small details, St. James creates a novel that is hard to put down. In fact, I found myself reading this one late into the night.
The novel opens with the introduction of Fiona, a reporter with a haunted past. After the death of her sister, things have never been the same and even though the man responsible has been put in prison, Fiona (and her family) have never really been able to move past it. So, when she finds out there are plans to restore the building (an old school for girls) where her sister’s body was found, Fiona cannot help but dig around. And, in doing so, she quickly finds out that the past never really stays buried.
Told in alternating time periods and alternating perspectives, I loved the way St. James chooses to tell this story. I loved the moments that flashed back to the girl’s school in the 40s and how each member of their group of friends had an individual chapter to voice. I found each character likeable and I was interested in each of their stories and was truly concerned about their plights. I also found that Fiona, in the present storyline, was a well-developed character.
I think that St. James did a brilliant job incorporating a bit of historical fiction; it didn’t feel distracting. I felt like it really added another layer to the story.
One thing I didn’t care for with The Broken Girls was the paranormal storyline. The ghost at the school felt like it really didn’t belong and was sort of a side-plot. I felt like it wasn’t needed.
Overall, I was a huge fan of The Broken Girls and I think that fans of Fiona Barton or Fiona Davis will enjoy this one.