review: The Caged Graves (Dianne Salerni)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
pages: 336
publisher: May 14th 2013 by Clarion Books
ISBN: 780547868530
genre: historical fiction, mystery
source: ARC from publisher in exchange for an honest review



The Caged Graves
17-year-old Verity Boone expects a warm homecoming when she returns to Catawissa, Pennsylvania, in 1867, pledged to marry a man she has never met. Instead, she finds a father she barely knows and a future husband with whom she apparently has nothing in common. One truly horrifying surprise awaits her: the graves of her mother and aunt are enclosed in iron cages outside the local cemetery. Nobody in town will explain why, but Verity hears rumors of buried treasure and witchcraft. Perhaps the cages were built to keep grave robbers out . . . or to keep the women in. Determined to understand, Verity finds herself in a life-and-death struggle with people she trusted.



The idea behind caged graves really had me intrigued. Add in a hint of something reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials and I was on it for sure! I really thought this would be about witches, but I was wrong. Instead, I discovered an interesting story about the depths one will go to achieve their goals-- and I don't mean that in an afternoon special sort of way, either.

I loved the setting. I got the feelings associated with a closed-minded small town instantly. I also adore this time period. It's one of my favorites to read about. There were so many elements in this story that reminded me of Pride and Prejudice. I even found a worthy imitation of Mr. Darcy.

There was also a certain element of mystery in The Caged Graves. Verity is trying to discover her place in this small town while also seeking to uncover the reason behind her mother's death. During this process, though, she discovers there is a lot at stake. She has to fight for her engagement to the town's hottest bachelor, while trying to stay alive... because you know there is always something lurking in the shadows.


If you enjoy historical fiction, you'll probably want to read this one. I do not typically read anything in the historical fiction genre, but this one called to me. I was pleased with the result, so I feel pretty confident recommending this one to others.

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