The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
(Doubleday, 2014, 317 pages)
I am not a person who enjoys being scared, but I still decided to pick up this book. I’d heard good things about it and was convinced I could handle any scary element this book had. Let’s just say that I made a point of not reading it after dark – it was a daylight hours only type of read for me.
The book revolves around the diary entries recorded in the early 1900s by Sara Harrison Shea. Sara was born and raised in a small town in Vermont and after the death of her daughter, Gertie, mysterious things began to happen around town. When the book cuts to the present day we are introduced to Ruthie who lives in Sara’s old house. Ruthie comes home one night to find her mother missing. As she searches for any information about where her mother could have gone Ruthie uncovers Sara Harrison Shea’s diary hidden in her mother’s room.
There is a history of disappearances in Ruthie’s town and people are convinced that something evil lurks at a rock formation known as the Devil’s Hand, which is located in the woods behind her home. This history shadows Ruthie’s search for her mother and there is a definite sense of foreboding. Something happened after Gertie’s death in 1908 and things haven’t been the same since.
This summary doesn’t really do the book justice. McMahon does a great job building suspense and causing the reader to question what’s really going on. There’s definitely a fantastical element and if you enjoy dark, chilling books I think you’ll appreciate reading The Winter People.
You can also read Theresa’s review of this title.