The Broken Girls is set during two timelines, one being set in the 1950s in a boarding school for troubled girls and the other one being set in 2014, where a journalist starts to look into the murder of her sister, whose body has been found 20 years prior on the grounds of the aforementioned boarding school.
This was such a great story, wonderfully told. Often dual timelines don´t work for me and I end up liking one of the stories more than the other one. I didn´t have this problem with The Broken Girls and Simone St. James did a splendid job at bringing everything together in the end. And I was really surprised that this is more of a straight up mystery novel, interspersed with some supernatural aspects, who didn´t feel forced within the story. Everything just worked very well together.
What I didn´t like about the authors writing is the following:
He was there. She hadn´t expected him, but somehow when she saw him, she wasn´t surprised. Jamie, sitting on the floor, next to her closed apartment door, his back against the wall, his knees up. Out of uniform, wearing jeans and a T-shirt with a flannel shirt unbuttoned over it and work boots, his hair mussed.
Why does she tell me what the characters are wearing? It´s not important to the story at all. Just tell me that he is out of uniform, it´s enough information to know that he is off from work. I´m perfectly capable of assuming that he isn´t sitting in the nude in front of her front door.
Simone St. James does this a few times within the book and every time I´ve become incredibly annoyed by this. If I want to read about the clothes of people, I will buy the Vogue. I most certainly don´t want to have my books cluttered up by this. I know, it´s ridiculous, but just bear with me.
There was someone in the field.
Fiona stopped dead when she saw the figure. It was a woman, small and slight - a girl, perhaps. She wore a black dress that was long and heavy, a costume from a bygone era. She faced away, looking off at nothing over the field, utterly still.
Finally, after having read so many mediocre books out of this genre over the last couple of years, this book definitely deserves to be called gothic. I´m really enjoying this read so far and even the dual timelines work for me splendidly in this novel.