First, let me state that if you have any issues with sexual misconduct, molestation, rape, incest, any deviation in a person's sexual life, you should not read this book. Also, this book wasn't exactly what I thought it would be. I thought this would be more of a domestic noir, but it wasn't quite that either.
Lane finds out that her grandfather has been having sex with Allegra, and this is why she left when she was sixteen. The reader is also given the stories of the rest of the Roanoke family. Yates (the grandfather) has had sex with his sisters, his niece/daughter (who he is unable to consummate the relationship with due to an accident), his wife (who bore him three daughters), and two of his three daughters, as one died in infancy. Allegra was left behind when her mother ran away, and when she reached the age of fourteen Yates started having sex with her as well. He claims that the females of the family all wanted to do it, and from the stories told most of them entered into the sexual relationship willingly, and continued because there was something about Yates that drew them to him.
I was disturbed by this novel, as in the fourth chapter (or about there) it went straight to incest between Yancy and his sister, Jane. I didn't expect to read a story about continual, generational incest, otherwise I would not have picked up this book. I am really not interested in reading about incest, which is why I stopped reading the Game of Thrones novels.
The story itself was frustrating as Lane was not a likeable character, nor was she reliable narrator, always going between anger, and pretty much nothing else, it was always anger. It bothered me as there didn't feel like there was any relief for the reader.
The story was predictable, and the ending was a little obvious, as there was some foreshadowing to what might have to happen for Allegra to leave Roanoke. It was at times a very interesting story, but then at times it was predictable what the characters were all going to do.
I found the incest to be a little overwhelming, and the grandmother's attitude was a little off and off putting. I wouldn't have minded if there were more signs of what Allegra wanted, or why Lane didn't try to stay and help her, or find help. The family issues were all huge and yet, in the story, they all seemed so small.
I don't know if I would recommend it or not, it wasn't anything like something I have read before. So I guess that is a good point, and the reason I was stuck between 3 and 4 starts.