The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

winterpeople I was geared up to get his book after I had read so many good comments on Twitter and various book blogs. One comment in particular stated

“If you live where there is snow you may want to wait until summer to read it. Very creepy and spooky” making me think it was all set in winter and I would be spooked to walk at night. I’m envisioning the little girl in the well from The Ring or the Virals from The Passage. You know, something that sets you on edge when the trees rustle on your late night walk with the dog.

For me, this didn’t live up to the hype of being a seriously scary horror story. There were suspenseful moments and I did finish the book but couldn’t recommend it.

In a nutshell: There is a small town in Vermont where an overly protective mother lives with her two daughters (Ruth and Fawn). They live off the grid without computers or much communication with the rest of the town. Mom sells eggs at the farmers markets and takes care of the rural home and farm animals. Ruth can’t wait to run off to college in another state and live as other teenagers do. The farm backs up to a reputedly haunted and evil landmark called the Devils Hand. One evening, Ruth comes home and finds her mother has disappeared. Rather than call the police, Ruth and baby sister Fawn start going through their mother’s bedroom for clues to where she may have gone.

Mom’s closet is boarded up – weird. Then they find a panel in the floor with a stash of odd things, things they know don’t belong to their mother. There are wallets with drivers license and money in them. People they don’t know. There is also a gun. Definitely not mom’s!

Now, coincidentally this old house was the former home to Sarah Harrison Shea. Sarah was found murdered in a field behind the house only one month after her daughter Gertie had been tragically killed. There is a diary involved, the long lost diary pages for Sarah Shea which allude to secrets of bringing back the dead. The story goes back and forth between Sarah’s time frame (over 100 years prior) and the back to present day with Ruth looking for her mother.

Toss into this mix that several people have mysteriously disappeared in this town or up near the Devil’s Hand. The story lines twist around one another to explain the disappearances, the relevance of Sarah Shea’s diary and explains folk tales about unresolved mysteries.

It wasn’t scary but there were suspenseful moments. I shrug my shoulder upwards and say Eh…

Adding my review to Goodreads


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