The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni

caged graves

The Caged Graves
Dianne K. Salerni
Clarion Books, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-547-86853-0
FORMAT: Historical, Mystery, Romance
AGES: Young Adult
4 Stars

Verity Boone is moving back to the town where she grew up. She hasn’t been back since she was sent away to live with relatives just after her mother passed away. But this time she is going home to meet her fiancé, Nate who has been courting her through letters. However, life has a few surprises for her. First of all things are a little awkward with Nate. It is like he isn’t the man who she fell in love with. And she discovers that her mother and her aunt are buried in cages outside of the church consecrated cemetery. Everyone has something to say about what happened when her mother died…but nobody will tell Verity. With a very friendly doctor’s apprentice trying to steal her heart and a whole town full of secrets, Verity isn’t sure if coming home was a good idea. This is a refreshing historical novel with just enough mystery and a dash of romance. Readers will enjoy how Verity shows she is not one to be pushed aside (or frightened by a few rumors). But mostly this is a book about coming back, starting over and making a home. Those with a weak spot for historical romances or unusual mysteries will not want to miss this book.

Book Discussion Questions:
Why did so many people believe that Verity’s mother was a bad woman? What about her aunt?
How would you feel if the person that you were engaged to didn’t act the way that he sounded in his letters?
Why was Verity so confused about her feelings for Nate and for Hadley Jones?
Both Nate and Verity quote the line in the poem “with the breath, smiles, tears of all my life”. Why? What does it mean?
Verity’s father doesn’t tell Verity much of anything. Neither does Beulah. Yet they both know most of what happened. Why didn’t they tell Verity? How would the story have changed if they did tell her?
Some of the town is more concerned with what appears to be truth than what really was truth. Why was truth so important to Verity?

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