These Shallow Graves
The cover is a misfit for this YA novel, set in the Gilded Age among New York's sumptuous, opulent, and restrictive society.
Jo Montfort has a dream that doesn't coincide with her family's social status. She wants to be a journalist, and her role model is Nellie Bly, the intrepid reporter. Her enthusiasm for writing about anything of social significance is not encouraged.
When Jo's father dies, Jo is summoned from her finishing school and returns home. Stunned with grief, she puzzles over how her careful father could have accidentally shot himself while cleaning his gun.
Struggling between being a dutiful daughter and her desire for a more meaningful life, Jo is unable to accept the circumstances of her father's death. With the help of a young reporter, she begins to question a great many things about her father, the society in which she moves, and the lives of those individuals who have none of the benefits her own life has provided. Her investigation results in a confrontation with the darker aspects that lie beneath the surface of the gilded atmosphere of New York, to family secrets, to betrayals she could never have suspected.
Liked: Jo, a plucky protagonist, Eddie, Oscar, and Fay. Oscar deserves a larger role and would make a great character for another novel.
An entertaining YA novel. Read in June; blog post scheduled for Oct. 9, 2015.
NetGalley/Random House Children's
YA/Mystery. Oct. 27, 2015. Print length: 496 pages.