The Winter People

The Winter People

A Novel

Book - 2014
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West Hall has always been a town of strange disappearances and legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who was found murdered in the field behind her house in 1908, a few short months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie, drove her mad. People say that Sara's ghost still walks after dark, and some leave offerings on their doorstep to keep her from entering their homes uninvited.

Now, in present day, Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they remain on the fringes, living off the land without internet or outside interference. But one morning Ruthie wakes up to find that Alice has disappeared without a trace. When she searches the house for clues, she is startled to find a secret compartment beneath the floorboards that contains two objects. One, a gun. And two, a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary.

The story the diary tells is one of a mother skating on the edge of sanity, willing to do whatever she can to bring her daughter back even if it means dabbling in dark and dangerous territory. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's death, she discovers that she's not the only one looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday Canada, ©2014.
ISBN: 9780385681452
Characteristics: 317 pages ;,25 cm


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Jul 04, 2019

I happened upon this book at the library and decided to give it a whirl. The best thing about borrowing books from the library is that you are able to try things you may not have otherwise considered. This book goes back and forth between the 1800's and present day, slowly revealing the truth about one woman's desperation.

This story is an example that you should never get involved with anything without first getting all of the information. Be careful what you wish for. You may just get it.

GillyGal Oct 21, 2017

The author had enough mystery going to keep me reading. I found myself trying to put the pieces together. I would recommend this book for those that like a mystery involving "sleepers".

Jul 09, 2017

There is no doubt Jennifer MacMahon knows how to write and hold a reader's suspense. Jumping between two timelines and cast of characters and trying to determine how the two separate mysteries related was captivating. I was hooked.

However, in my opinion, the ending was very disappointing. She had characters doing things which, given their personalities, they simply wouldn't do. Some characters went in directions that didn't make sense. One of the two main characters performed an action which, I believe, is physically impossible (i.e. without the use of magic- which wasn't suggested).

MacMahon would have created a better ending by using the time honored method of leaving a lot of details up to the imagination of the reader. Instead, she explains a bizarre, nonsensical, and disappointing way.

Jun 28, 2017

I read this book in one night! I started around 4 in the afternoon and couldn't put it down until I finished around 2 in the morning. It scared me half to death! Great read, I loved the structure, I was terrified to even get out of my own bed! Jennifer McMahon never lets me down and her imagination is so wild. This was a very entertaining and engrossing journey, from the in depth characters to just the scenery. Highly recommend!

ArapahoeKati Jun 28, 2017

Creepy and awesome. I've never been disappointed by a McMahon book yet.

May 18, 2017

Although, I think this author has some serious talent . . . I did not like this book. The story line kept flipping from like 1908 to Present time, and frankly, I had difficulty maintaining who the various people were, and what their background was. By the time I got towards the end, I was just exhausted, and hurried up to just F-I-N-I-S-H the book. I will perhaps try another of her books, perhaps it might portray her true talent.

May 17, 2017

creepy good!

Apr 25, 2017

I don't know---it was a good read. It kept my interest, and there was a purposeful story behind it. It involves spirits from a previous life and the magic associated with them. I guess it was a little far-fetched in that manner. I enjoyed the characters and how they fit together for one common goal.

Dec 07, 2016

As horror mysteries go, this one was creepy without being painfully scary. Typical of McMahon, there's both paranormal chills and true-life fiction narratives running through the story. While the premise is fantastical, all of the characters have understandable motives and relatable weaknesses. Interestingly, the ensemble cast is entirely female, with male characters more a backdrop of sorrow than narrators.

No lie, there were times I got the shivers, but I scare easily- and this was not the scariest book I've read. So I think for most people, it'll be more creepy than horrifying. However, the concept is definitely solidly in the horror genre. It's also a quick read, with an even pace and a neat bow-tied resolution at the end. I didn't enjoy it as much as <a href="" target="_blank">Don't Breathe a Word</a>, but that's mainly because Don't Breathe a Word walked an excellent line between "is this paranormal" and "are these insane but real people".

Still and all, I'd recommend it for fans of light horror and mystery, especially of the dark-woods-dark-secret type.

ArapahoeKayla Nov 09, 2016

Part horror part mystery, this historical fiction will leave you just a tad creeped out but definitely intrigued as you try to solve the mystery a modern day family has to an early 1900's ghost story. I enjoyed the authors's back and forth time periods story telling, the mysterious characters and the eerie overall setting.

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