Thursday, January 30, 2014

WINTER PEOPLE by Jennifer McMahon

Publisher:  Doubleday
Published:   February 11, 2014
Genre:   Horror
Book format:  Electronic – Edelweiss / Above the Treeline
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Three hearts


What would you do for your loved ones?  Your child?  And if that child died, what would do give to have him or her back?  What lengths would you go to for even another hour with them?  Another week? If you knew there was a way to bring them back, no matter what the risk, even for that short time, would you do it?

In 1908 in West Hall, Vermont, Sara Harrison Shea is found dead.  Her passing is made all the more tragic because it follows on the heels of her daughter, Gertie’s unexplained death.

Now, a little over 100 years later, a young woman named Ruthie lives in the house where Sara and Gertie lived along with her mother and younger sister.  They have lived in their own quiet away, keeping to themselves.  Then one day Alice disappears.  There is no reason or rhym, she is just gone.  There one second, gone the next.  In the hours and days after Alice’s disappearance Ruthie finds a diary begun by Sara all those years before.  In those pages Ruthie learns a secret, one that she cannot credit as true, but in hope against hope, she begins to follow the path laid out by that secret.  She and Fawn are soon joined by Katherine who is mourning the loss of her husband, Gary and their child.  When Katherine learns that there may be a way to bring her husband back, she ventures to West Hall.  There events unfold that none of the participants may ever recover from.

Jennifer McMahon’s WINTER PEOPLE is in no way, shape or form an easy read.  It is not a story to be read when you are alone at night and you certainly want to leave the lights on when you do sleep.  She brings together two spellbinding stories—one from 1908 and the other in the present day into an amazing tale.  She raises the question of what would you do for a loved one who has died?  What would you give to have them back for even a few hours?  The character, Katherine, speaks to that kind of desperation when she says that even a week more with Gary alive and in her life is worth anything.  Just a week to talk to him, to hold and be held by him.  Just one more week.  And even after the horrors she sees revealed when she arrives in West Hall that desperation to be with her husband one more time over rides any other emotion.

I sat down to read WINTER PEOPLE expecting little more than a good ghost story and found myself unable to put the book down as the characters’ stories were unveiled.  Ms. Mchahon tells her story in a voice that is monochromatic in detail that brings out the ghostly impressions of the story.  If it were to be brought to the big screen it would be most dramatic done in black and white with only spaces of color when the ghosts appear. 


If you like horror and ghost stories, WINTER PEOPLE is definitely one to keep an eye out for….just don’t turn off the lights when you are done!


This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


No comments: