BKMT READING GUIDES



 
Interesting,
Addictive,
Informative

4 reviews

The Cemetery Keeper's Wife
by Maryann McFadden

Published: 2018-05-08
Paperback : 354 pages
16 members reading this now
11 clubs reading this now
3 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 4 of 4 members
The Cemetery Keeper's Wife tells the story of two brave and complicated women, one real and one fictional, and an unlikely bond that transcends more than a century.What happens when the line between the past and the present begins to blur...
Rachel Miller is on the cusp of a new life when ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

The Cemetery Keeper's Wife tells the story of two brave and complicated women, one real and one fictional, and an unlikely bond that transcends more than a century.
What happens when the line between the past and the present begins to blur...

Rachel Miller is on the cusp of a new life when she moves to Union Cemetery after marrying Adam, the 7th generation cemetery keeper. Though she's known him only twelve weeks, his tender love seems like a miracle of fate after her years alone.

On her first walk through the lush and silent grounds of her new home, Rachel discovers a stunning monument to Tillie Smith, who died in 1886. Reading the words carved into the stone, "She Died in Defence of Her Honor," Rachel is overcome by a powerful memory buried deep in her past.

A series of uncanny coincidences linked to Tillie Smith follows, setting Rachel on a journey that grows into an obsession: Why did the murder of a poor kitchen maid at the local seminary become a national sensation? Why were people in town trying to keep her from finding the truth? But most disturbing of all, why was Tillie reawakening a past Rachel chose to bury long ago. A past that could threaten her marriage.

The Cemetery Keeper's Wife poignantly blends fact and fiction as two women scarred by shame, and separated by more than a century, reach across time to rewrite history.

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

PROLOGUE
November 1883
Tillie stumbled out of the cabin, the stench of sickness nearly making her vomit. She stood in the cold a bit, bent over, gulping in fresh air. They were all with the fever, but Catherine was coughing so fierce she brought up blood. If her mother was still with them she’d know what to do, but her mother had been gone for too many years already, her presence like a shadow Tillie couldn’t seem to grasp. The doctor was what they needed, but the doctor and his medicine cost money. And there was none. It was Nora who said to maybe go over to Waterloo and see if the uncle might lend them some. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

Why does Rachel choose to bury her past and try to keep it from her husband? Is this fair?

Tillie made some difficult choices in her tough life. How do you feel about some of those?

Shame is a theme throughout the book, affecting Rachel, Tillie, Adam, and others. Do you think they could/should have controlled this? How would their lives have been different if they had not let shame shape their decisions?

Do you believe justice should not have an expiration date? Or do you think that sometimes it’s best to let some things go to the grave?

Some people are uncomfortable with cemeteries. What did you think of the setting of the book? Could you ever imagine living in a cemetery?

Were you at all surprised by the difficulties of women in the Victorian era, which has been romanticized? How far do you think we’ve come since then?

Rachel loves connecting with people who’ve passed through her “finds.” Have you ever found or discovered something from a person in your past?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "the cemetery keeper's wife"by Carolynr (see profile) 09/25/18

3.5
i did enjoy this book and appreciated the link between Rachel and Tillie...and the exploration of what happened to both of them and how their reputations were treated. There were a few
... (read more)

 
  "The Cemetery keepers wife"by [email protected] (see profile) 08/10/18

This book had me from page one!......
Marryann McFaddens writing makes you feel like you are there......
Being from the area that the book takes place made it all the more interesting.....

... (read more)

 
  "Historical Mystery at its best"by [email protected] (see profile) 07/09/18

This carefully and extensively researched novel tells the story of poor Tillie Morris who was murdered outside Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ. For many years a local legend, Tille is brought to... (read more)

 
  "Local History!!"by [email protected] (see profile) 07/05/18

Loved this book!! Knowing the history and locality in this story only added to the intrigue of this story. So well written, easily flips from 1885/6 to 2014 to tell the tales of two amazing women. If you... (read more)

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search




FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...