Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday Status: These Shallow Graves and Our Endless Numbered Days

Sunday Status is a weekly (ish) post where I let you know what I'm reading and what I'm thinking about it as I go along.

These Shallow Graves
Jennifer Donnelly
Random House Delacorte, October 27th, 2015
Source: ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

"For the first time that night, Jo was not just nervous or anxious, but genuinely afraid (178)."

Josephine Monfort's privileged life among the New York aristocrats is shaken up when her father died from an accidental gunshot wound.  Jo knows things don't add up, but for a young girl to ask questions isn't becoming.  She's supposed to mourn her father for six months, accept the proposal from New York's finest bachelor, marry, and settle into a life of having babies and following rules.  Jo has other ideas, instead.  Inspired by Nellie Bly, she is determined to discover the truth behind her father's death--even if it means learning things she might not have wanted to know.

I'm enjoying this look at 1890s young girls and their desires to be more than is expected form them--or more than is accepted from them.  Jo has big ideas, but she also understands how her world works and what she loses just because of her station in life.  She comments on the injustice of it and how her mere presence in certain places leads men to believe she must be a prostitute.  She sighs about how she is expected to become a wife and mother as quickly as possible.  Despite this, when she finds herself in precarious situations where she could be discovered, Jo is frantic to protect her reputation so she doesn't ruin her chances for marriage.  Although I understand why she is so concerned about this--a woman at that time (no matter what her station) had to protect her name and reputation if she wanted to survive.  I still hope to see her break through this and stand up to her family and friend's expectations.

Our Endless Numbered Days
Claire Fuller
Tin House Books, 2015
Source: Purchased

I only just started this at school yesterday.  I haven't too much to say except that it already has a somewhat.... sinister (?) feel to it.  Maybe it's just a wariness because I know the premise and therefore I'm waiting for something to happen.  I don't know.  I'm only about 25 pages in.

So here's the description from Goodreads:
Peggy Hillcoat is eight years old when her survivalist father, James, takes her from their home in London to a remote hut in the woods and tells her that the rest of the world has been destroyed. Deep in the wilderness, Peggy and James make a life for themselves. They repair the hut, bathe in water from the river, hunt and gather food in the summers and almost starve in the harsh winters. They mark their days only by the sun and the seasons.

When Peggy finds a pair of boots in the forest and begins a search for their owner, she unwittingly begins to unravel the series of events that brought her to the woods and, in doing so, discovers the strength she needs to go back to the home and mother she thought she’d lost.

After Peggy's return to civilization, her mother learns the truth of her escape, of what happened to James on the last night out in the woods, and of the secret that Peggy has carried with her ever since.

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