Read It! "The Winter People" by Jennifer McMahon 
Read It!

Review of "The Winter People" by Jennifer McMahon
by Nicole S.

After moving to Colorado earlier this year my friends back in Wisconsin still wanted to keep in touch and what better way than a book club! Thanks to technology I have been able to virtually attend the meetings and we catch up and of course talk about what we thought of the books we picked for the meeting. I decided to also share my thoughts of these books to the awesome readers like you!  

The first book we kicked off for our 2020 book club was “The Winter People” by Jennifer McMahon. I am a big fan of thriller/suspense novels so I was very pleased to find a thriller/ghost story novel on our list of books. 
Jennifer McMahon is a New York Time’s bestselling author of works like “Promise Not To Tell”  and “Island of Lost Girls”. The majority of her books could be categorized under thriller/suspenseful fiction with some elements of paranormal activity.  

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

“The Winter People” takes place in West Hall, Vermont, which seems to be a place where strange happenings occur. It all seems to start with a woman named Sara Harrison Shea. In 1908, she is found dead behind her house not long after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Then, in present day with 19-year-old Ruthie who happens to live in Sara’s old farmhouse with her mother Alice and younger sister Fawn. One day Alice vanishes without a trace. While Ruthie and Fawn try to gather clues about their mother’s whereabouts, they happen upon a copy of Sara Harrison Shea’s diary. The story jumps back and forth between the diary entries in 1908 and present day where similarities may come to pass and history may be doomed to repeat itself.  

I greatly enjoy narratives like this that jump back and forth. At first it may be a little hard to keep track of all the characters in play in the story but once you get going you find it easier to sort out the events in 1908 with Sara, her husband Marty and their daughter Gertie, and present day which includes Ruthie and Fawn. McMahon does a great job of weaving the separate stories but ultimately entwining them. Add in the chilling ghost stories and the missing people and you get hooked. I found myself wanting to keep reading Sara’s diary entries more than Ruthie’s accounts in present day because that seemed to be where the real story is. 

You feel for these characters, especially Sara, due to the loss of her child, Gertie. You sympathize with her actions and justify her means of coping with the sudden loss. The story twists and turns because you wonder whether ghosts really exist in this town and if it’s “cursed.” However, the one flaw I found was that the ending seemed to be underwhelmed. The story wraps up rather quickly and the decisions made by some of the characters didn’t seem to be realistic. All in all, if you enjoy multiple narratives from different points in time with a thriller and suspense feel to it – this is your book! If you have read "The Winter People," tell us what you thought of it in the comments!

Also, if you enjoy the Vermont setting like McMahon seems to, check out her other novels, “The Invited” and “The Night Sister”.
Click here to view McMahon's works and place a hold with your library card.

Check back for my next review of our second book club pick, “Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins.  
 
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org On 15 May, 2020 at 10:53 AM  

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