NetGalley has given an ARC of These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly in exchange for my honest opinion.
The story focuses on seventeen year old Jo. She’s a proper girl brought up in a wealthy family, and soon after graduating finishing school she is to be married off to an equally wealthy man. To me, Jo was sweet, smart, and did things for the sake of others, but she was also extremely naive. This is mainly due to her sheltered upbringing. She was taught to marry young and rich – to be a husband’s arm candy if you will – and never date/marry below your class.
The setting (1890’s) was perfect for the story. Jo’s dream is to become a newspaper reporter, yet it is highly frowned upon for someone of her class during this time. It also showed the immense struggle a girl had to go through in order to be taken seriously and that things like suicide were never to be mentioned.
Jo spends the story trying to solve the mystery of her father’s death. Supposedly it was a revolver misfire accident, but to Jo something just seems off.
I loved the book. It was a historical romance that didn’t make the romance the central idea. It was a mystery. It was a story of finding friends in unlikely places (especially for someone who has only seen the wealthy side of Manhattan). It gives us a wonderful sneak peek into the past and made connections to problems we still have today (a.k.a. gender roles). The layers of secrets kept me on my toes and Jo’s relationship with Eddie – the handsome journalist that helps her during this journey – is genuine and not overwhelming like other books today.
I loved the book and cannot wait to dive deeper into my ever-growing ARC pile. Thank you Random House and NetGalley for letting me read this wonderful book! Up next: Believarexic by J.J. Johnson. Happy reading lovelies!