Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (May 2011)
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn’t a funeral that Maylene didn’t attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words “Sleep well, and stay where I put you.”
Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place—and the man—she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid 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—a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.
I had no idea what to expect going into this book. I was pleasantly surprised. Graveminder is a well written and unique story. Rebekkah and Byron have both left home, but wrestle with a constant feeling that they should return to their home town. Byron returns on his own to help with the family business. When Rebekkah's grandmother, Maylene, is murdered, she is forced to return as well. Maylene's death sets off a series of events that changes their lives forever.
This book has a little bit of everything in it. Romance, creepy scenes, mystery, murder and the walking dead who eat people (they aren't zombie, though). I liked both Rebekkah and Byron's characters and their relationship with each other. The bargain that the town made with Charles (Mr. D) is interesting and I almost wish there was more back story to it. I loved the scenes that take place in the land of the dead.
I definitely recommend this one. I really enjoyed it. I will warn that there are a few gruesome scenes in the book but they are written very well. Since it is labeled as an adult read, I probably wouldn't recommend it for YA's. I listened to the audiobook and Emma Gavin, the narrator, did a great job.
I also listened to the audiobook. I agree that Emma Gavin was perfect for the job. I recognized her as the reader for Veronica Roth's Divergent. She did an excellent job there as well.
The original bargain that the townspeople made with the Charles was interesting. I don't recall any information given as to where Claysville was located. However, it had to be in existence in the 1700s and it wasn't in California. The first Graveminder was named Abigail and one of the other ones was Drusilla. I found that intriguing. I wondered if maybe there was a Salem Witch tie in there.
I enjoyed this one quite a lot as well, a lot more than I was expecting to I think. I really liked the idea of a Graveminder. Not for the reason they had to have one, but the idea of a town having a designated Graveminder. I, too, would recommend this one!