These Shallow Graves

These Shallow Graves

Book - 2015
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A young woman in nineteenth-century New York City must struggle against gender and class boundaries when her father is found dead of a supposed suicide, and she believes there is more than meets the eye, so in order to uncover the truth she will have to decide how much she is willing to risk and lose.
Publisher: New York :, Delacorte Press,, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780385737654
Branch Call Number: Y FIC DONN
Characteristics: 487 pages ; 24 cm


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A_Jeffery Dec 07, 2018

A wonderful mystery about a girl who wants to achieve much more than her station in life allows.

Nov 23, 2017

I kind of want to cry tears of happiness because of how entertaining the story was, especially the way it ended. I loved how there was no angst in the murder mystery. There was tension and build-up, yes, but it was not overdone. Things didn't drag and I loved that Jo was a proactive heroine that made things happen rather than a reactive one who let things happen to her. I loved the chemistry between her and Eddie, obviously, and that it didn't go out of the sphere of reality and practicality. And finally, I loved the commentary on women's lives, the importance of having a choice and having the freedom to choose.

May 19, 2017

I enjoyed this book very much. I liked the fact that Jo didn’t quite get the happily ever after one might expect, but she did get what she wanted: Freedom. She gained a new life, and although she may not have gotten the boy, she seems, more or less, undeterred by that. She earned the independence she so strongly desired, and now she continues to learn to be independent in a world she never knew beyond the windows of her carriage.
- K

JCLAmandaW Jan 19, 2017

While this book took some time to really get my interest, the last third of the book really drew me in and the story finished strong. The characters were well developed and ended up being people you could care about. I enjoy historical fiction and while this one might not be the best in that genre, if you're interested in an intriguing story, you won't be disappointed with this book.

VaughanPLDonnalee Jan 08, 2017

While I enjoyed this as a mystery, I found it very disappointing as historical fiction. The protagonist spends so much time complaining about the restrictions on her life and behaving in a way that was completely atypical for a wealthy 1890's socialite, that in the end this resulted in a complete failure to capture any sense of what life was truly like in the 1890's at all. The heroine looks at every issue, every decision, and everybody around her through a completely modern filter and to me her constant judging and critiquing of her own world was unrealistic and disingenuous. I love historical fiction, but I found this one very hollow and phony. I did like it as a mystery, however. It had some good twists and turns, some genuinely spooky moments, and was enjoyable as a suspenseful page-turner.

ArapahoeLesley Nov 10, 2016

Certainly not as substantial as her adult reads, nevertheless These Shallow Graves has the same spirit. I picked this book solely on the cover and found an Age of Innocence/Lana Lane/ Sherlock Holmes period mystery that didn't so much keep me guessing but definitely kept me entertained.

spl_merley Oct 29, 2016

I really enjoyed this historical mystery set in 1870's New York city. It gives you a good sense of the divide between rich and poor in the period as well some of the social issues of the time. The title is a great metaphor for how the past can come back to haunt the present. What really captured me was Donnelly's courageous heroine breaking conventions to uncover the painful truth about her father's murder. Lots of twists, turns and danger with a doomed romance to boot.

An exciting mystery set in 1890's high society New York, filled with romance, family drama, and a kick butt female sleuth. Another great one by Jennifer Donnelly! Also, a great audiobook.

Jul 27, 2016

Josephine “Jo” Montfort, the main protagonist of “These Shallow Graves” is headstrong, brave, determined, and beyond average. She tries to balance a normal, upper class life and a scandalous life on the streets while trying to solve her father’s death. (An accident? Suicide? Or murder…?) She’s pressured to choose between marrying the man her family wants her to, Abraham Aldrich, or marrying for love, Eddie Gallagher.
Jennifer Donnelly puts her readers through a rush of emotions, having us trust the characters in one chapter and the next chapter wanting them dead, and vice versa. Set in the 1800’s, this fantastic book shows how the wealthiest of New York can fall hard with one scandalous rumour, and how women in that period could have a life, marriage, and job of their own choice. Long story short, this book was amazing and I couldn’t put it down. 9 out of 9 Muses.
- @Slytherin_of_Cabin7 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

At the very beginning, it took a bit for me to get into this book. The plot throughout the book would qualify in between semi-decent and fairly good though! Personally, I just didn't like the ending as much, or any other books that end their stories off in the way that this one did. But I suppose it may be more historically accurate. The story of Josephine Montford, elegantly rich girl, and Ed, a typical newspaper article writer, takes place in a time when women were still overlooked. Perhaps this heroine is not one to be overlooked so easily, or not a bit at all. Anyone who likes a good mystery, history, and romance novel should try here! 4/5 stars.
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Jul 10, 2016

This was a great book. The main character was headstrong and lovable- she was adorably naive about certain things, and her friendship with other female characters as well as just everyone around her made her seem almost like a friend to me. Her development was believable, and the romance was also charming. The story had me compelled and looking forward to what was coming next. A great read!

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May 19, 2017

BlacknWriteReviews thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

spl_merley Oct 29, 2016

spl_merley thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Apr 13, 2017

“You, on the other hand, wish to know things. And no one can forgive a girl for that.”

Apr 13, 2017

“That was what people did when they wanted to stop a girl from doing something—they shamed her.”


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