Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Graveminder Hardcover – May 17, 2011
|New from||Used from|
Preloaded Digital Audio Player, Unabridged
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
The New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series delivers her first novel for adults, a story about the living, the dead, and a curse that binds them.
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.
A Q&A with Author Melissa Marr
Q: What inspires you as a writer?
Marr: Music, travel, and lore. Graveminder began in 2007 on a trip to Ireland during which I’d read a paragraph or so on the “hungry dead.” Wicked Lovely sparked from Scottish folklore. The YA novel I just wrote, Carnival of Souls, was a combination of a phrase from a song and an article on demonology.
Q: Where did the story in Graveminder come from? Did something in particular spark the characters or the plot?
Marr: Once I had the general concept (“mind your dead lest they come back hungry”), I looked to my own life. I enjoy cemeteries, and I’m fascinated by lore/myth of Death. I added a small town, a ghost-town-esque land of the dead, and various other things I like. This is actually the novel closest to my roots in many ways.
Q: The characters in Graveminder discover they have had a destiny to fulfill since they were born. Can you talk about putting characters into that situation and what it brings out in them?Marr: Between the Wicked Lovely series and this, it’s pretty obvious I’m fascinated by the idea of fate and choice. I think we are all born with advantages and disadvantages because of so many things beyond our control (family, economics, culture, religion, country, genetic factors). People can be defined by those factors, revise their fate—or opt for some combination of the two. That choice is what makes our stories as people unique.
Q: How did you go about building the Graveminder mythology? Is it based on any folklore or mythology itself?
Marr: Around the world there are all sorts of traditions of ancestor regard and duty to the dead. Some traditions dictate how the dead are taken to the grave to keep them from finding their way back if they wake; some traditions include speaking (or not speaking) of them. There are myriad traditions I’d have loved to explore, but the one I used at base is that the dead must be nourished with food, drink, and story for a set time. Failure results in the dead coming back to get a different manifestation of the nourishment they need—flesh, blood, and breath.
Q: In Graveminder the dead walk among the living and the living can even walk among the dead. What are your thoughts about these two worlds you’ve created?
Marr: I like liminality, borders and those who exist on and because of the lines. Much of the real world is defined by a series of in/out groupings. We are either a or b; things are good or bad; and everything is pro or con. The reality, I believe, is that there are often gradations—degrees of right and wrong, measures of beautiful and horrible. By juxtaposing worlds, I have characters who are always “strangers in a strange land.” Plus, well, it’s just more fun to write.
From Publishers Weekly
YA bestseller Marr (Wicked Lovely), in her first novel for adult readers, serves up a quirky dark fantasy fashioned around the themes of fate, free will—and zombies. When Rebekkah Barrow is summoned home to Claysville for the funeral of her beloved grandmother, Maylene, Rebekkah doesn't know that she's been designated Maylene's successor as the town Graveminder, whose job it is to give the recently deceased food to keep them in the Land of the Dead. Not coincidentally, her sometimes lover, Byron Montgomery, has just succeeded his dad as the Undertaker, who works intimately with the Graveminder. Even as the pair ponder the grave responsibilities that their weird destinies have thrust upon them, they doggedly pursue Daisha, an adolescent who died under suspicious circumstances and who, unburied and untended, is wreaking havoc around town as a rampaging member of the Hungry Dead. Not everything adds up in Marr's story, but the well-drawn characters and their dramatic interactions keep the tale loose and lively. 6-city author tour. (June)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Claysville is small and quaint, the type of town where everyone knows everyone and nothing is a secret...or maybe there are secrets, BIG secrets. A town where the peculiar habits of a little old lady just seem normal and harmless, but there's so much more to the story, so much more.
Grave Minder is a small town story with an element of fright. It's written softly, without being too dramatic or fluffy, but it's definitely not your cliche "ghost in the attic" horror story; it's refreshingly unique and captivating. I wasn't hiding under the covers afraid to peer outside the safety of my reading nook, but I did get goose bumps quite a few times throughout the book.
Even though Grave Minder is not a standalone, I don't know that I will be reaching for the sequels any time soon. It certainly wasn't a bad book; in fact I really enjoyed it, but it ends in such a way that didn't have me on the edge of my seat itching to start the next book. In fact, I don't think Melissa Marr intended for it to become the first in a series either, but it is!
P.S. - I am itching for cool temps and brisk fall days, pumpkin spice and scary (but corny) Halloween movies. Hence the reason why I picked up Grave Minder in the first place! Happy reading!
For more of my review, visit my blog! [...]
I was surprised by how much I really didn't care about Graveminder. Marr is a writer that I typically adore because she writes awesome plots featuring difficult, complex choices. She doesn't shy away from unpopular, un-pretty decisions. Things happen, the options suck, and the result is that the characters lives are changed for the better, for the worse, and in ways we don't necessarily want to see happen. Happy Ever After isn't necessarily a guarantee (or at least they don't seem to be in the beginning). Although Graveminder gives our Hero and Heroine a hefty dilemma to deal with there are no real resolutions beyond the rather minor introduction plot that establishes who the Graveminder and the Undertaker are supposed to be. That may seem like it should be plenty, but unfortunately it wasn't really enough to fill up this novel. The set-up was dragged out and the ending of the story felt too compacted and too packaged. As the beginning for a series, I can see the layout, but I would have liked to read a more complex, more integrated story. There's a lot that just seems like it will be filled in later on in other books.
Graveminder was also less "adult" then I thought it would be. Ink Exchange, my favorite in the Wicked Lovely series, was thematically darker than Graveminder but totally without the "adult" tag. So, yeah, kind of a disappointment, but because it's Melissa Marr I'm expecting that the series will pick up steam and take off.
The only thing I knew to expect from Graveminder was that it was going to be great, and heck yes, did it deliver! Melissa Marr has a way of writing that, to me, can only be described as poetic and cinematic. She lays the words out in a way that makes you feel like you've stepped into this world she's created. It is descriptive enough to give you the perfect picture, but doesn't over saturate you with details and the way the words just flow so smoothly...*sigh* It's really amazing.
I was completely engrossed in delving deeper into these characters and this story. There were so many layers to both. Just when I thought I had it figured out, something unexpected and/or original would negate that theory. I really liked Bek. She was tough, independent, doesn't take crap from anyone, and I loved that she took everything in stride and with good humor, for the most part. The only problem is that she doesn't feel she deserves happiness with the one person she's loved for years, Byron. Byron...oh, Ms. Marr knows how to write her men (Irial, Niall and Seth from the Wicked Lovely series are some of my all time favorite males in any series). He is sensitive but not a pushover or weak. He's ruggedly sexy with his jeans, boots, leather jacket and his Triumph bike. And when he promises to always be there for you no matter what, he honors that promise with all of his being. Being pushed away by the person you made said promise to makes it a little harder though. Once Bek comes back to town for good, he wants to make her realize once and for all that they belong together...if she can finally let go of the abundance of guilt she feels for loving him as much as he loves her.
I loved the originality of the world also. Because of a deal the town founders struck with Charles there are two individuals who have to visit the land of the dead time and again: the Undertaker and the Graveminder, now Byron and Bek. Their duties are to make sure your body and soul are taken care of when you die. If everything goes normally, you are buried and the Graveminder will perform a very simple ritual that will keep your body in the ground and your soul in the land of the dead. Every now and then, somebody misses a dead body somewhere and the Undertaker and Graveminder have to lead this soul in there by the hand, literally. What happens when you die and the Graveminder doesn't know, is what the characters in this story are dealing with. See, if left unattended for an extended period of time, the undead begin to munch on humans. The more they kill, the stronger they become, the harder it is for the Undertaker and Graveminder to find them and lead them underground.
Simply put, I loved this book. It was a yearning love story, with some mystery, intrigue and original gothic, supernatural aspects. One book wasn't enough. I am making a plea to Melissa Marr...please! We need more Bek and Byron!
The town in this story is separate from other small towns. Most of the reason is death. Death has rules here. The Grave keeper is at the core of the story.
Despite the subject matter, it did not seem macabre. I almost wish I lived there.