The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Publisher: Doubleday Books
My source: Netgalley
Genre: Fiction Suspense
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9780385538503 

Author’s Website

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. 

The Winter People is a well written, complex, suspense novel! This ghost story is quite different from say Wendy Webb’s ghost stories. This one has a real edge of evil to it. 

It switches between 1908 and present day thru the use of Sara’s diary. As we are learning Sara’s story and what happened to her in 1908 we are also watching the consequences of that unfolding still in present day. There are three main female characters in this story. Sara, Ruthie and Katherine. We also get to look at the story in 1908 from Sara’s husband Martin’s view. At first I thought it was a little confusing flipping back and forth between so many people. But it all came together wonderfully.

A thoughtful tale of what lengths we might go to for just a few more days with those we’ve loved and lost. And of greed and revenge! This was my first experience with this author and I will definitely be reading more of her!

Peggy Ann

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