The Broken Girls

“Sonia envied her, the way she could turn her brain off, think about absolutely nothing. It was a trick Sonia herself had never learned. That was what books did – they turned off your thinking for you, put their thoughts in your head so you wouldn’t have your own.”

“That was what the books did—they turned off your thinking for you, put their thoughts in your head so you wouldn’t have your own.”
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. . . .

This is truly a ghost story! And the setting is one of my favorites. A gothic style girl’s school in the middle of nowhere Vermont. Set in the 1950’s, when being anything other than perfect could get you packed off to what we will loosely call a girls boarding school.
The school itself is a dark, spooky place, with things going bump in the night and strange smells and writing on the mirrors. Four girls, Katie, Roberta, CeCe and Sonia. As different as can be but bound by their mutual fear and pasts.
The story is told from the girls points of view and in the present by Fiona. A journalist with a connection of her own with Idlewild Hall. And when she hears that someone has bought the old place and is going to renovate it, she feels a strong pull to write about it, investigate the rumors of Mary Hand, the ghost who haunts the school as well as find out about her sister’s murder.
There is a little bit of everything in here. Nazis, Concentration Camps, illegitimate children, PTSD, some horrible thing has happened to all of these girls and they come up with a plan to escape but they never forgot. With a little help from Fiona they just may get justice after all.
Like I said this is a ghost story with an actual ghost and I loved it.
When I tried to review this book on Amazon, it notified me that they were not accepting reviews for this book because of some suspicious activity with a lot of the reviews. That has never happened before. As soon as I hit Write a Review a notice came up that no reviews were being accepted. Wonder what happened there?
xx Patricia