Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Book Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

These Shallow Graves
Author:  Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher:  Random House Delacorte, 496 pages
Expected Publication Date:  October 27, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley

From Goodreads:
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.

I enjoyed this historical mystery/romance.  Jo comes from old money, but she wants to be a reporter.  She's feeling constricted by the life she's meant to live, her duty to marry well, and she comes to realize how important freedom is to her when she steps out of her comfort zone and begins investigating her father's death.  She's thrown into a world that she's only ever read about.  Jo's situation and her lack of knowledge about the world rang true.  She's a great heroine (smart and determined) and the book is also filled with well fleshed out secondary characters, like Fay, Oscar, and Eddie.  Even though the book is long, it's a fast read.  If you're a fan of A Mad, Wicked Folly, you will like this one.

Two complaints.  One, I wanted more from the romance.  Two, every single plot line is tied up, which I like (although there were a few too many unbelievable coincidences), except one.  There's hope, but come on.  With an epilogue, I expected to know how certain things were going to turn out, but it's not resolved.  Truly disappointed about that.

Posted by:  Pam


  1. Sometimes plots that are wrapped up too neatly bore me, and not too mention when the romance just isn't right. I'm disappointed.

  2. I'm guessing the romance is left a little open ended? I am teetering back and forth over how soon to read this one because of the mixed reviews but since we have pretty similar tastes I should probably read it sooner rather than later.

  3. You've got me on the fence. I hate unresolved plots and lackluster, but you said people who like A Mad Wicked Folly will like it and I LOVED that book. Think I'm going to add to the wishlist, but maybe not make it a super high priority?