Thursday, February 20, 2014
The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
Have you ever known grief?
Grief so paralyzing, so mind-numbing, and so soul crushing that you can't breathe? The one you cherished and adored has died. And, in the depth of your sorrow did you wish that your beloved could come back to you?
Sara Harrison Shea, living in West Hall, Vermont, in 1908 knows that kind of desperation. Her daughter, 8-year-old Gertie, has been found at the bottom of an abandoned and very deep well on their farm property.
In the present day, Ruthie and Fawn live with their mother, Alice, in the same farmhouse where Sara grieved so long ago. One day, Alice goes missing, and as the girls search for clues, they stumble upon an old diary hidden in the floorboards, along with a strange cache of other mysterious items. Do these things have any relevance to the reason their mother has vanished?
As Ruthie and Fawn try to find their mother, they also connect with two other women who are drawn to their farmhouse and the surrounding woods.
West Hall has long been filled with rumors of the "Winter People" -- the "sleepers" or the ones that died but now are sighted in the woods near a rock formation called the Devil's Hand. Is there any truth to the stories that claim that Sara's old Auntie had the power to bring the dead back to life? And that others knew the secret -- and could have used it??
As Ruthie and Fawn delve deeper into the mystery, they realize that they are connected to Sara and have a legacy rooted in what might be dark magic -- or is it just superstition and old silly folk tales passed on through the generations who might be trying to explain the unexplainable.
Fast-paced, creepy, and chilling -- I raced through the pages as the story is told in alternating points of view and shifts backward and forward in time from 1908 to present day.
Recommended for anyone who enjoys a little supernatural horror ghost story! 3 stars
Thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday Books for the e-book ARC to review.