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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Fresh Strawberry Muffins | The Roanoke Girls

Fresh Strawberry Muffins | The Roanoke Girls
Fresh Strawberry Muffins inspired by The Roanoke Girls
Some secrets run so deep and fierce that they suffocate those who protect them. That is exactly the case with dark, chilling secret held by the Roanoke girls. It's caused generations of mystery and speculation around the girls born at Roanoke house. Beautiful women that either die or run. Welcome to the TLC Book Tours stop for The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel!

book cover for The Roanoke Girls

The Roanoke Girls

author: Amy Engel
publisher: Crown (March 7, 2017)
genre: Literature & Fiction, Suspense
hard cover:288 pages

"foodie" read: No, but food is mentioned enough throughout to create a whole menu inspired by the novel for a book club gathering (or similar).

opening sentence: The first time I saw Roanoke was in a dream.

teaser: “Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

After her mother’s suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother’s mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran…fast and far away.

Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.

As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girlsshocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

about the author: AMY ENGEL is the author of the young adult series The Book of Ivy. A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family. This is her first novel for adults.
author Amy Engel

connect with the author: website | facebook | twitter

recipe inspired by the book: Fresh Strawberry Muffins


My review:

This novel jumps back and forth between "now" and "then", as we discover the disturbing, heart-wrenching truth about what happens in the Roanoke family through the eyes of Lane Roanoke when, after her mother kills herself, goes to live with family members that her mother never wanted her to know.

Along with suicide, there is another sensitive theme that runs throughout this book—incest. There really are moments when this book can be hard to read because of it, but it also drew me in and left me verge of anger and tears. It was mindblowing to read about the strange, blasé attitude towards incest that runs so deep.

Okay, I hope that I haven't scared you off, because this story runs deep. It shows one woman's struggle, strength, and determination to break the cycle. It wasn't easy, and it wasn't pretty, but it lent a thread of hope to all of the ugly. It's not one to read when you're looking for light-hearted, but if you're in the mood for something meaty, add The Roanoke Girls to your plate.
Fresh Strawberry Muffins | The Roanoke Girls
Speaking of plates, why not add a couple of these fresh strawberry muffins to yours?

Mentioned on page 52 of the advanced reader's edition, I chose this recipe to represent the Roanoke Girls for a couple of reasons. First, because strawberries symbolize fertility, rebirth, love, and a woman's body, all of which are also major themes throughout this book. And second, I liked the visual of Lane remembering Allegra (her cousin) in her nightgown, knife in one hand, strawberry muffin in the other.

The floor underneath my left foot feels uneven, and I glance down, find ALLEGRA + LANE gouged into the wood. I rub the message with my big toe, remembering the morning Allegra carved it there, still in her nightgown, one of Sharon's strawberry muffins clasped in her free hand.

The Roanoke Girls quote photo

Looking for more food inspiration from The Roanoke Girls? Here are some recipe ideas pulled from the book: 

Cherry pie, salmon patties with tartar sauce (and ketchup) and green beans, giant cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, tuna sandwiches, brisket and mashed potatoes, ham loaf, German chocolate cake, tacos with beer, soft serve ice cream (but only vanilla and chocolate), ice slushes (orange, cherry, grape, or lime), potato salad, Jello-O salad studded with shredded carrots and pineapple or chunks of canned pear, chicken lo mein, homemade pineapple, peach, and banana ice cream, some sort of crock-pot roast, tuna casserole, scrambled eggs with toast and bacon (and coffee), apple pie, and any typical midwestern "mayonnaise and cheese heavy" casserole or gooey dessert.

If you're looking for non-cook items, then how about stale Cheerios, sour cream and onion potato chips, peanut butter and jelly with pretzels on the side, ham sandwiches with mustard and extra cheese (hold the mayo), lemonade, a beer slush...or whiskey, vodka, tequila.

yield: 1 dozenprint recipe

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 15 MINStotal time: 25 mins
Tender muffins jam-packed with fresh strawberries.


  • 1 2⁄3 cups roughly chopped fresh strawberries
  • 2⁄3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter or browned butter)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon fine grain salt


  1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease the bottoms of 12 muffin cups (or line with baking cups).
  2. Place the strawberries in a large bowl and use a fork to lightly smash them so that they release some juices, but aren't mush. Add the sugar, oil, and eggs to the bowl and, still using the fork, stir in until well-combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients to the bowl and stir just until no more dry spots remain. Spoon into prepared muffin cups.
  4. Slide into preheated oven and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, ~15 minutes.
  5. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.