The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon REVIEW

The Winter PeopleThe Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
Published by Anchor
Published 11 February 2014
336 pages
Digital library book

Author website


The New York Times bestselling author of Promise Not to Tell returns with a simmering literary thriller about ghostly secrets, dark choices, and the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters . . . sometimes too unbreakable.
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.


My beloved aunt, Sara Harrison Shea, was brutally murdered in the winter of 1908. She was thirty-one years old.


I’ve wanted to read The Winter People for ages and the book did not disappoint. I absolutely loved this book. It’s one of the best I’ve read this year. My copy was an ebook borrowed from my local library and I read it in one sitting. I couldn’t turn my face away and was completely absorbed from start to finish. The Winter People is one of those great, too rare books that suck you in and refuse to let go until you reach the last sentence. I loved everything about this book. I loved the atmosphere the author created; the sinister woods, the strange old house, the thing creeping about in the shadows. I really liked the way the plot moved back and forth between 1908 when Gertie was killed and the present, gradually feeling the unsettling, disturbing and creepy as hell events that link everything together. The Winter People creeped me out and unsettled me in a way a book hasn’t for ages. I had chills reading it. The book reminds me of Stephen King’s Pet Semetary – as much as I love Stephen King’s novel it is a bit gory and The Winter People is more unsettling. Quite simply, The Winter People is amazing. I’d highly recommend it.





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