Review The Broken Girls Simone St. James

February 22, 2019

the broken girls coverThe Broken Girls is the title a mystery novel written by Simone St. James. In my review, I discussed about the success of this book and about its underlying messages. Yes, hidden messages addressed to readers who loved and will love this story (like me). Released in March of the past year, The Broken Girls has been regarded as the most addictive mystery novel of 2018. I also think it is a great and very interesting story under many standpoints. I explained all this in my review.

The plot tells about a freelance journalist, Fiona Sheridan, who is obsessed by the murder of her loved sister happened twenty years ago. For the crime, the Court convicted the boyfriend, but the journalist has the suspect that the truth about this murder has not been discovered, yet.

The story is set in Vermont, in 2014, but retraces the mysterious events occurred in a boarding school in 1950.

Indeed, the main character of this novel is looking for information to write a story about a boarding school that seems to be haunted by the ghost of a girl murdered along with her baby. She was Mary Hand and the school is the fearsome Idewild Hall, a place which hosts only the girls who nobody wants, namely broken girls, with an unfortunate fate or affected by mental illnesses. This is the first compelling twist of the novel. It is the same twist that pushes Fiona to write a journalistic piece when she hears about the renovation of the school by an unknown benefactor.

Mary Hand, instead, is the strange ghost who scares the girls of the school . She appears abruptly, with a grieving gaze and her baby in the arms. She wears a black dress and it is better you don’t look at her because surely you’ll die.

Mary Hand, Mary hand, dead and buried under land”. That is the recurring refrain of the girls in the school.

Who is Mary Hand? An unfortunate girl who remained pregnant in an epoch where appearances were more important than the affection for a newborn. The social shame caused the death of the girl along with her baby . The corpses were buried under the land of Idewild Hall. Through this heartbreaking event, the author created the second impressive twist of her novel, that has been split in two separated years and related chapters, namely Vermont 1950 and Vermont 2014.

Thanks to this literary technique, called flashback, “ The Broken Girls” leads readers to discover the shocking links between the murders of the schoolgirls of Idlewild Hall and the still inexplicable murder of Fiona’s sister.

The Broken Girls is a story to read in one breath, is a scream against the hypocrisy of the present time and the past time. I loved these broken girls, Sonia, Katie, Cece and Roberta. Each of them saw the ghost of Mary Hand. In the world of the broken girls, nobody is like they seem to be, not even the mothers, the teachers, who hide upsetting secrets coming from a likewise ominous past.

The big question you’ll hear when you read this mystery novel is why is there a gunman who kills lonely and helpless girls? The reply is just in The Broken Girls , a well arranged novel, with awesome and poignant twists made to be read and commented. Don’t stop on my review, go forward and read the book now, because it is another clear example of good literature. If you have already read the book, instead, I would be happy to hear your comment. Thanks in advance.

Title: The Broken Girls

Author: Simone St. James

Publisher: Berkley; Book Club

Pages: 336

Available on Amazon

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