"In Catawissa, sometimes the dead don't stay where you put them."
Author: Dianne K. Salerni
Title: The Caged Graves
It's 1867 and seventeen-year-old Verity Boone has just returned home to Catawissa, Pennsylvania, to be married to a young man she's corresponded with but never actually met. Only things aren't going exactly as planned. Verity's father feels like a complete stranger, and her conversations with her future husband, Nate, are stilted and awkward. Worst of all is the secret surrounding her mother's death fifteen years earlier that led to her being buried outside the cemetery's walls in unhallowed ground with a locked iron cage over her grave. Verity's aunt is buried that way, too, and no one will tell her why.
This YA novel is a lovely blend of historical fiction, mystery and romance. Verity is young and a bit naive, but she has some spitfire and spunk in her, too, which I liked. (And I was rooting for her and Nate the whole time.) Salerni's storytelling is captivating and unpredictable and kept me reading late into the night. I also liked the mystery surrounding the two caged graves and how it raised questions of witchcraft, buried treasure and grave robbers ... but then I've always found cemeteries interesting. All in all, this was a fun read and another serendipitous find from the S shelf.