The Winter People
by Jennifer McMahon
Read: Dec. 29, 2013 – Jan. 1, 2014
Challenge: Eclectic Reader 2014, What’s in a Name 2014
Yearly count: 1
Blurb: West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea’s diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother’s bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara’s fate, she discovers that she’s not the only person who’s desperately looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.
Review: I received a copy of this book for free via Edelweiss for review purposes, all opinions expressed below are my own.
In January of 2013, I had my first experience with a Jennifer McMahon book, The One I Left Behind. It absolutely blew me away and ended up on my Best Reads of 2013 list. So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw her 2014 release available on Edelweiss for request. You can bet your life that I clicked that request button as soon as absolutely possible (and probably put something like “I loved her last book and would love to read this one” in the additional request box …).
I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting of this book, but I know I went in with it with high expectations. Overall I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. However, it definitely wasn’t the book I expected it to be. I was expecting more mystery than ghost story. But it’s okay, because once again, Ms. McMahon blew me away.
If I honestly had to use one word to sum up this book it would without a doubt be “creepy.” Extremely creepy. Like, I had to put it aside at 10:30pm because I was too creeped out to continue and didn’t want to give myself nightmares creepy.
This book flips back and forth between the present day storyline and the 1908 storyline. There are so many characters in the beginning that I will be completely honest here and let you know that I was a little confused by the sheer number of characters being mentioned. But eventually things come together nicely and you really understand the need for all the characters.
The writing was extremely good. The storyline was so fresh and interesting. The characters were extremely well-developed. And the mystery of it all was so incredibly creepy I still give a little bit of a shudder when I think back on the book itself.
Overall I really have nothing but nice things to say about this book. I definitely highly recommend it and am so excited to realize that I have found another favorite author to put on my auto-read list!