Katherine is tasked with putting together an exhibit based on the lives of the forgotten souls buried in the paupers' graves at the Anglican cemetery. Being the uptight woman that she is, she wants to ignore all the horrible things these people went through while they lived. (Poverty, disease and mental illnesses, to name just a few.) Unfortunately, the dead want the truth to be told. They will do whatever they need to do to Katherine and her research team to make that happen.
The cemetery on which this story is based is real. Here's a picture of a small part of it. What a place to set a story! I could easily picture what Katherine's team, (Katya and Alex), were going through after getting a look at the location. Imagine a place where all the bodies/bones were just tossed in together, with only small markers to give a general idea of where a person was located.
The characters in this story were where the action lived. What happened to each of them had a lot to do with who they were and their outlook on the world. This tale also drew some parallels between the past and present. Maybe we no longer toss the bones of the poor into pits or clapboard boxes, but has the world really changed that much since those days? Have we eliminated the problems of homelessness, drug addiction and/or mental illness? With all of our science and knowledge, have we brought about the changes that such wisdom should bring?
Pauper's Graves makes the reader think about that and I'm usually a fan of books that me think. I did have a few issues, though-at one point Katherine's name was used instead of Katya's, and there was one point where Alex drew in her breath, even though he's a guy. For these couple of items, I did deduct one star.
To wrap up, this is a beauty of an atmospheric, dark fiction story that puts the reader right into the thick of things. In the dark and the fog, the dead insist that their stories be told. Are you brave enough to hear them? Highly recommended!
Get your copy here: Paupers' Graves
*I was provided a free e-copy of this novella in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*