Friday, October 23, 2015

Book review - These Shallow Graves

Title: These Shallow Graves
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Genre: historical fiction/ mystery
Similar books: The Diviners by Libba Bray
                    The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

very nice
Summary (provided by publisher):
Set in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep.

My opinion:  Many books are written about girls who don’t fit into societal expectations, particularly in an historical context. This books is more than just one of the crowd. At face value, Jo is much like any historical heroine. She wants more than just the simple life her parents have planned for her. She wants to know about the world around her, to understand  the poverty she sees and to explore her city at greater depth. She doesn’t just fight against society, though. She wants to fit in. She’d like to do what is expected of her but finds conforming difficult. That burgeoning feminism at war with conformity makes Jo both relatable and historically realistic. Donnelly paints an excellent picture of Turn of the century New York City, both the high society and the cesspools, particularly when it comes to the treatment of women. Historical fiction can be kind of a hard sell but this book has both mystery and romance elements that will broaden the appeal.

More Information: These Shallow Graves releases October 27.
Advance Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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