“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”
After her mother’s suicide, 16-year-old Lane Roanoke comes to live on her grandparents’ vast estate in Kansas. Her cousin Allegra, about the same age, is there too, being raised by her grandparents after her mother’s disappearance. But there is a dark secret at the heart of the Roanoke family, the reason why all the beautiful girls die or run, and when Lane figures it out, she runs, far away.
Ten years later, Allegra disappears and a phone call from her grandfather brings her back to the Roanoke family home to help look for her. The novel weaves back and forth between Lane’s first and only summer there, and the present, as Lane seeks to unravel more of the truth about her family. Extreme family dysfunction, sexual abuse and incest are all parts of the story, so be warned.