I really enjoyed The Graveyard Book while I was reading it. The story and characters held my attention and it was a short, fast read. Having finished it, I do wish there had been more meat to it. The story had a reasonably satisfying if bittersweet end, but there were things that could have been fleshed out better and I wish the book had a sequel or two. I’d really like to see the characters again and find out what happens next for them. It feels like I was with them for too short of a time.
The story begins just after the parents and older sister of the main character, Nobody, have been murdered. Nobody is a toddler when the book begins, oblivious to what’s going on, and the only reason he isn’t murdered with the rest of his family is because he has a tendency to escape his crib and wander off. Since the murderer left the door to the house open, Nobody is able to wander out of the house and up the hill to a graveyard where he’s protected and raised by the dead who inhabit the graveyard. The author was inspired by The Jungle Book, which explains the title.
One particular complaint I have now that I’ve finished is that the underlying motivation for the murder wasn’t explained sufficiently at all. We were given an explanation, yes, but it’s one that brings up more questions than it answers. There were also great secondary characters in this book, and I wish we had seen more of them and learned about them in more detail. That’s really my only complaint with this book. I really enjoyed it, but I was left wanting more.