Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Reading level: Adult
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: William Morrow
Release date: May 17, 2011
Source: Review copy
Reviewed by: Lucy
Three sips to mind the dead . . .
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the attention her grandmother Maylene bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the small town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each one Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: She took three sips from a silver flask and spoke the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."
Now Maylene is dead, and Bek must go back to the place she left a decade earlier. She soon discovers that Claysville is not just the sleepy town she remembers, and that Maylene had good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in Claysville the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected; beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D. If the dead are not properly cared for, they will come back to satiate themselves with food, drink, and stories from the land of the living. Only the Graveminder, by tradition a Barrow woman, and her Undertaker—in this case Byron Montgomery, with whom Bek shares a complicated past—can set things right once the dead begin to walk.
Although she is still grieving for Maylene, Rebekkah will soon find that she has more than a funeral to attend to in Claysville, and that what awaits her may be far worse: dark secrets, a centuries-old bargain, a romance that still haunts her, and a frightening new responsibility—to stop a monster and put the dead to rest where they belong.
After the death of Rebekkah Barrow’s grandmother, she returns to the town she spent her childhood, Claysville, for the funeral. Upon arrival, Rebekkah discovers some disturbing news, her grandmother was murdered…
Byron Montgomery, is the new Undertaker of the town, following in the steps of his father. Like Rebekkah, he grew up in Claysville. Prior to Rebekkah leaving town years ago, both she and Byron were very close; however, things didn’t end so well. Byron dated Rebekkah’s sister for a long time, until the day she committed suicide. Byron and Rebekkah blamed themselves for years because, the night prior to her sister’s suicide, the two shared a kiss. This lead to Rebekkah leaving town, ending whatever began years ago between her and Byron. Now that she’s back in town, there is an unmistakable magnetic force between the two.
It is clear in anyone’s eyes that Rebekkah’s grandmother was murdered; however, everyone in town refuses to look further into the matter. It’s up to Byron and Rebekkah to solve the mystery of what truly happened the night of her grandmother’s death. They soon discover that everyone in town knows more than they’re letting on, and both Byron and Rebekkah are directly connected to the root of it all…
Graveminder builds on the simple concept that the spirit of those who die must be tended to in order to ensure their crossover and to keep them away from roaming the earth. Should they not be properly tended to, they will bring harm to the living. This is definitely one of my favorite elements of Graveminder. I also appreciate Melissa Marr’s creepy factor she brings within her writing style for this particular novel. Some parts of Graveminder definitely gave me goosebumps! I would love for Melissa Marr to release a sequel to this novel as it has a lot of potential to become an awesome new series.
The characters were well developed and were very likable. I especially liked Byron in this story. He was Rebekkah’s “white knight in shining armor”, protecting her from all things evil. Not only was he determined to keep her from harms way, he genuinely cared so much for her, and wanted her to realize that they are truly meant to be together by fate.
I recommend Graveminder to those who enjoy Adult Fiction however, it’s also suitable for YA readers.