Book Review: The Burning Girls

02.09.2021 | Ballantine Books
Rating: 4.5/5 stars


Welcome to Chapel Croft. Five hundred years ago, eight protestant martyrs were burned at the stake here. Thirty years ago, two teenage girls disappeared without a trace. Two months ago, the vicar of the local parish killed himself.

Reverend Jack Brooks, a single parent with a fourteen-year-old daughter and a heavy conscience, arrives in the village hoping to make a fresh start. What she finds is a town steeped in secrecy that’s not exactly leaping at the chance to welcome them. When Jack’s daughter, Flo, starts seeing odd sightings at the old chapel it becomes clear that there are ghosts in Chapel Croft that refuse to be laid to rest.

I’ve been a fan of C.J. Tudor’s since I read her debut book, THE CHALK MAN, and every year I’m eager to see what interesting story she’s crafted this time around. THE BURNING GIRLS is a story involving a small village filled with secrets, both historical and more present day, as well as a mother and daughter who are trying to find their place. Tudor throws a lot of information at the reader and at first it can be hard to sort out the various plotlines and understand how they may end up connected. I’m always game for a book that feels like a puzzle and that’s exactly the vibe I got while reading this book.

One of the things that bothered me was that Tudor chooses to alternate POVs throughout the story, but the chapters aren’t clearly marked with who is narrating them. I’m usually fine when authors take this route, but a few of the chapters weren’t clear from the start as to who was talking, which added unnecessary confusion. I would have loved to see a few of the plotlines more fully fleshed out within this story, but overall I really enjoyed THE BURNING GIRLS and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an atmospheric and mysterious read!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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