The year is 1867, and seventeen-year-old Verity Boone is excited to return from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Catawissa, Pennsylvania, the hometown she left when she was just a baby. Now she will finally meet the fiancé she knows only through letters! Soon, however, she discovers two strangely caged graves . . . and learns that one of them is her own mother’s. Verity swears she’ll get to the bottom of why her mother was buried in “unhallowed ground” in this suspenseful teen mystery that swirls with rumors of witchcraft, buried gold from the days of the War of Independence, and even more shocking family secrets.
Dianne K. Salerni
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When 17-year-old, Verity Boone moves back home to get married, she is greeted with a nasty surprise. She discovers her mother's death was highly controversial and she was buried outside of the hallowed ground cemetery with a fence around her grave. Hers is also not the only one. The midwife at her birth where her mother died, also died about the same time. Is their more to her mother's death than she was first told? Why did the townsfolk condemn her mom as a witch after her death?
A little slow at first, but the story is well-developed and engaging. The characters are likable and heartwarming. The mystery of her mother's death is intriguing and has a few plot twists and turns I didn't expect. Overall, I give it 4 stars. The story had a few problems, but was worth the read.
4.5 Surprising Stars. This book wasn’t anywhere close to on my radar and I don’t think I would have given it a second look if a friend of mine Khanh hadn’t given it high marks it would have passed me by. That would have been a shame as it was a great YA historical mystery and romance.
Verity has lived with extended family for the last fifteen years ever since her mother died. Now at seventeen she has agreed to an arranged marriage and is coming back to the home and the father she left so many years ago. Verity has only corresponded in letters to the man she agreed to marry. She is so excited by the idea of Nate from the letters he sent and the gifts that came along with him that the actual man might not live up to the idea of the man.
“I’m not always a bumbling idiot,” he told her. “You make me nervous.” Verity sucked in her breath, partly indignant, partly hurt, “I realize people may consider me...
A compelling gothic mystery story set in the 1800s. There is something about how the atmosphere of the novel that interest me most. It can be dragging at times (I misconstrued it as a paranormal story), but I love how authentic and well-written the characters are. The traditions and beliefs were there, the interactions of the people were so on-point in that era. I also enjoyed the love triangle so much, as it gives more depth to the characters especially to Verity Boone, who is trying to solve the mystery of why her mother’s grave was caged along with another tombstone. The grand gesture of Verity in the end made up for the moments I thought that this could have been a failed attempt at inserting a romance subplot to attract readers.
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