Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Read by Emma Galvin
Quick Thoughts: Graveminder is a Gothic Ghost tale with a bite. The moody tone of the novel is matched well by the narrator, Emma Galvin.
If you don’t know it already, June is audiobook month. It’s a time for lovers of audiobooks to celebrate a medium they enjoy, and for producers, narrators and authors to push their products. After a fun month of May where my little audiobook blog focused on Zombie books, June will be about something different. This month, I am going to attempt to spread my wings a little bit, and take a few chances listening to books I may not normally listen to. I plan to take chances on new authors, new narrators, and perhaps even whole new genres of audiobooks. Of course, I will still have some tried and true authors coming up, authors you’ve seen here before on The Guilded Earlobe, but also expect some surprises. For my first audiobook of June I have selected Graveminder by Melissa Marr. This is Marr’s first foray into adult literature and my first experience with her. Graveminder is a Gothic tale of an isolated small town called Claysville. As all good small town novels it’s full of family rivalries, lingering romance and a deep dark secret at its core. Graveminder is truly a Gothic Ghost story with a bite.
Central to the story of Graveminder are two characters, Rebekka and Byron, who despite their obvious love for each other, have never been able to get past their various baggage and truly become a couple. What makes matter worse is that, unknowingly to them, their baggage is deeply intertwined with the secrets of the town. Despite their attempts to remain separate, Claysville seems to always find a way to pull them back in. Marr uses a lot of inner dialogue and flashbacks to develop her main characters and explore the problematic roots of their relationships. Unfortunately, this causes the early part of the novel to drag a bit. Yet, as the towns secrets slowly begin to be revealed, Marr begins to suck you into her intricate world. As the novel progresses Marr’s town of Claysville slowly becomes a character of its own, blending the lines between life and death. Unlike some ghost stories, Marr’s doesn’t go for cheap scares but allows for a growing sense of disquiet, bolstered by her deliberate pacing. All this builds to a well orchestrated conclusion which will leave the reader satisfied, while allowing enough room for further novels in this world.
Narrator Emma Galvin does an excellent job in creating a haunting mood for this novel. Her narrative voice moves slowly, creeping up on you and eventually pulling you deep into the story. Galvin doesn’t really do voices, yet slight changes in tone and pace allow you to follow the dialogue well. This is also my first time listening to Emma Galvin and I found her well matched to the text and feel of the novel. Graveminder works well as a moody, character driven ghost tale and fans of supernatural literature will defiantly find something to like here.