Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Oh my goodness guys! I finally finished a book, and it wasn’t a graphic novel for a series review, or a picture book, but an actual 400+ page review. Now, I know many of you read this when it was first released, but I’m behind and don’t get those sweet deals on ARCs like you do down in the states that’s okay though 😉

Published: 2015
By: Random House Delacorte
Source: Borrowed
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780385737654



I chose this book randomly off the shelves of the library. It was on my reading list, but originally I was picking up books 4-6 of the graphic novel series, Saga. I wouldn’t necessarily say the writing was amazing, but the story itself – gripping.

Jennifer Donnelly writes a great historical fiction piece set in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. With main characters that develop throughout the story and have more than 3-base emotions. The story itself took me on a wild adventure with the main character, Jo Montfort, as she delves deep into the investigation that ultimately changes her life and alters the perception that she had been led to believe was all that she needed. In her adventure she develops new friends, loves and loses, thinks for herself – which was never acceptable for a society lady, suffered through the death of many close to her, and the list goes on. All in the while Jo is leading a double-life.

In the first, she is the good daughter. A society girl of good breeding and character. She attends a fine school. Her family name is considered well-known and well-to-do in all of New York. One of the finer families. Jo is beautiful and she is “destined” to marry Bram Aldrich, a man from another well-off family with a lot of money. Jo never wanted this dead-end arrangement, but had no way of getting out of it. Until her father was found dead in his study one night.

The other life Jo leads is the one that she starts after her father’s death. The investigation. Believing that there is no way her father’s death was a suicide, Jo is on the hunt for the truth. With nothing but a name, Eleanor Owens, and the money she found stashed in her father’s agenda, $1000, she sets on a journey that alters the threads that were delicately tied to ensure her future was set and nothing should have undone that.

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.



About Black ' n Write Reviewer

Library Tech grad who is currently working on a BA in Political Science and filling all her time with books.
This entry was posted in Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

  1. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up (#26) | Black 'n Write

  2. Marie says:

    Oh such a lovely review! No worries, I’m ALWAYS late at reviewing hyped – “old” books as well, I feel like everyone reads them before I do ahah 🙂
    I am really curious to read this book now – it sounds quite great, gripping and with a good character development! 🙂

  3. I read this book last year and never reviewed it as I wasn’t sure how to put my thoughts into words but I think you’ve really covered what made this book good. I loved the characters and that it wasn’t a typical happy ending but instead an optimistic one looking to the future.

    • Thanks for your thoughts! It took me a little bit to come up with the right words in order to describe this book just because it did leave a weird tingling in the back of my head. But re-reading the last paragraph of my own review (not to toot my own horn) I actually like the way I summarized it haha
      – K

  4. Pingback: Monthly Wrap-Up (#27) | Black 'n Write

  5. Pingback: This Year: 2017 | Black 'n Write

Let's get this conversation started!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.