Customer Reviews for

The Gravedigger's Daughter

Average Rating 3.5
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Her Best to Date

I've read most of Oates' books, but this beats all predecessors. Simply put, this book is in a class all its own. While intricately written, the book has a very basic theme, I think. Not strictly about being abused by males, whether by a father, husband, son, whatever....
I've read most of Oates' books, but this beats all predecessors. Simply put, this book is in a class all its own. While intricately written, the book has a very basic theme, I think. Not strictly about being abused by males, whether by a father, husband, son, whatever....it is about choices on the one hand and fate on the other. I saw the abuse, but I think the story line focused more on the hand we are dealt in life and what we make of it. Rebecca/Hazel chose to run from it. In my opinion, a wise choice. In the end, sad though it was, she ended up returning back to her roots. We don't choose what race or generation we are born into no more than we choose the color of our eyes or the texture of our hair. I believe the underlying theme is the lack of tolerance in this world and the utter sadness and fear that are the ultimate result.

posted by Anonymous on September 15, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A long journey..

This was the first Oates novel I read and it was pretty good. It was longer than it should have been (and would have been better if it was condensed) but it was a good story. I will definitely read more of her books in the future.

posted by DesC on February 5, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2007

    Her Best to Date

    I've read most of Oates' books, but this beats all predecessors. Simply put, this book is in a class all its own. While intricately written, the book has a very basic theme, I think. Not strictly about being abused by males, whether by a father, husband, son, whatever....it is about choices on the one hand and fate on the other. I saw the abuse, but I think the story line focused more on the hand we are dealt in life and what we make of it. Rebecca/Hazel chose to run from it. In my opinion, a wise choice. In the end, sad though it was, she ended up returning back to her roots. We don't choose what race or generation we are born into no more than we choose the color of our eyes or the texture of our hair. I believe the underlying theme is the lack of tolerance in this world and the utter sadness and fear that are the ultimate result.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A long journey..

    This was the first Oates novel I read and it was pretty good. It was longer than it should have been (and would have been better if it was condensed) but it was a good story. I will definitely read more of her books in the future.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Waste Of Time

    No ending, I am not an author, therefore, it is very annoying when a book does not end with an ending. This book was a waste of time.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Worth Reading!

    I read this book while I was on vacation, and I could not put it down. The plot is original and I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. There is romance and scandal; some parts are thrilling while other parts are sad. I would definitely recommend reading the book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting

    This is a LONG book. It took me about 3 weeks to finish it, but I think it was worth it. Hazel Jones (AKA Rebecca Schwart) is a very intriguing. Her life is a series of ups and downs. This novel takes you into the world of a girl from an immigrant family. She is born in New York harbor and grows up under unusual circumstances. I don't want to say to much so that I don't ruin the story for you. But, read this novel! You wont regret it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2009

    great book, will stay with me for a long time

    first one of Joyce Carol Oates books I read, definitely makes me want to read more

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008

    Her best work

    I absolutely could not put this book down! Despite the length, it kept my attention.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining

    In 1959 in Chautauqua Falls, New York, a stranger tries to abduct Rebecca Tignor nee Schwart. Stunned especially since her kidnapper insists she is a Hazel Jones, Rebecca reflects on the violence of her life. Her parents and two older brothers barely escaped the Nazi final solution. When she was thirteen, her father killed her mother and almost murdered Rebecca, before finally killing himself in a murder suicide. She married a violent man, traveling beer salesman Niles Tignor.----------------- When she got away from her captor she comes home only to be beaten by her husband. Rebecca knows she must leave before Niles kills her and their nine year old child Niley. She becomes Hazel Jones and Niley becomes Zacharias. Hazel and Zach move all over New York until she meets kindhearted wealthy Chet Gallagher, but although she loves him she still hides her roots even from him.-------------- This is an entertaining look at the life of a woman who always has chose flight over fight. She was raised in fear, married in fear, and became a nomad out of fear, and now with Zach has a chance to live outside of fear if she takes the risk with Chet that he is as kind as she thinks. The ¿Beyond¿ ending seems odd and the basic theme is one that Joyce Oates has used often, but fans of the author will not mind a bit as no one better gets inside the psyche of a person who believes that relationships especially with males means being used, abused and you lose.------------- Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2012

    Amazing

    An amazing book that only Oates could write. She writes with deep knowledge of her characters. They are so developed you get to know them. A great story that encompasses many years from the hovel in which the Grave Digger's Daughter was "raised" to the triumpth of her later years. Her secrets are never revealed but they totally shape her and her son.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Really enjoyed this book!!

    such a good story...I had trouble putting it down. I hadn't read anything from Oates in awhile and am so happy to re-discover her....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Could be better written.

    This novel would be better if it was shorter and had less detail. There is too much descrptions about details that have nothing to do with the novel. It has potential, but it seems like I am reading a draft of this book.<BR/>I do not recommend this book.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2012

    Long and Painful

    The plot had great potential and there was good character development, otherwise this book is garbage. The cussing was too much and in places that didnt seem to belong, almost as if the author in a desperate attempt to make the book exciting started randomly adding foul language. At times I thought about not finishing, but did, and honestly I dont see why I bothered. I wanted to feel something for Hazel after everything she had been through, but the writing just never gave me a chance get emotional like other books I have read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2010

    One of the best novels I have ever read

    A touching story of a girl with a troubled life who only wants a family. From a master writer, one of the best alive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008

    Just Ok

    I waited anxiously for this to come out in paperback. But, I don't know why I keep reading her books. They start out good and keep you reading. But, the ending just leaves you hanging. She doesn't really tie everything up very well. Three quarters of the way through, you are just wishing it would end soon as it gets boring.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2007

    Didn't 'get it'

    I couldn't wait to start this book after what I'd heard about it, but I ended up being disappointed. I thought it was way too long and boring. It sort of felt like......so what? I must have missed something!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2007

    A reviewer

    such a complex & compelling gift your newest book is.Wonderful writing. Much food for thought.The end I cried-not just for the cousins exchange of letters, but all whose life was completly changed by the halocaust. I read many 'camp books' but never thought of those lucky enough to escape and yet not.What a beautiful story--Thank YOU!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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