by Jennifer McMahon
Published by: Random House
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Suspense thriller
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.
I was immediately drawn to the synopsis for The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon. It shares a tale about a mother and daughter bond, loss, grief and wishes that should never be granted. A farm shrouded with a tragic history, a superstitious rural community, and a mother with secrets all added to this atmospheric tale. Mini review: A spine-tingling, hair raising thriller. McMahon held me captive and made me shiver.
The Winter People, shares a mystery that takes place on a small farm house in West Hall, Vermont. The journey to unlock the strange disappearance of a young mother named Alice reveals two stories. Those of Sara Harrison Shea, who was found dead behind her farm house in 1908 shortly after her daughter Gertie’s tragic death. The second story is present day and takes us into the lives of a recluse mother named Alice, and her two children, Ruthie and Fawn. Alice mysteriously disappears and her daughter, Ruthie begins searching for her. The answers she finds are disturbing and the tale that unfolds offers a suspenseful tale that leaves us deeply entangled in a macabre tale of love, loss and death.
The Winter People offers a clever tale about the bond between mother and daughter with dark paranormal twists. The author split our time between the present and past. Ruthie and her younger sister Fawn are searching for clues regarding the strange disappearance of their mother. Clues bring questions, and questions have them looking to the surrounding woods, strange disappearances and disturbing journal entries from Sara. The tale unfolded slowly with details surrounding both past and present. We know almost immediately what we are dealing with, and it only heightened the bone-chilling suspense. As the reader, I kept waiting for the boogie man to appear. This created a delicious, suspenseful feeling. I became so engrossed that wind and house noises made me gulp, and I shut closet doors before I continued. Usually I share my thoughts on the characters, but felt even my opinions of them might reveal things. Winter People reminded me of those tales whispered around the camp fire late at night. Those urban legends that gave you goosebumps and had you checking behind you shoulder. Within this creepy, bone-tingling horror tale there is a message or warning. Creep-tastic!
The Winter People beacons the reader to pull up a chair. Unique and chilling McMahon spun a tale that the reader is sure to remember long after the book is finished. Fans of ghost stories and paranormal suspense should add this to their reading list.
Four cups of coffee out of five
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