The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon
Long time no talk….am I right?!?! It’s been about 3 weeks since I last posted a book review and the reason for that is two fold: 1) I started the month of May rereading A Game of Thrones and it took me a bit to get through that (full discussion coming at the end of the month). 2) Baseball season for my three boys is in full swing and my available reading time has been drastically cut while we spend most evenings & weekends at the ball field.
So…onto the book: The Winter People is part mystery, part thriller and part ghost story. The book is split into two different time periods with chapters alternating between present day and 1908. The story begins with diary entries from Sara Harrison Shae, who, in a sleepy Vermont town in 1908, was found dead shortly after the disappearance of her young daughter, Gertie. Then, alternating chapters are told in the present day…and focus around nineteen year old Ruthie, her younger sister, Fawn and their mother, Alice. The family lives in the same farmhouse that was once occupied by Sara Harrison Shae one hundred years previous. When Alice suddenly disappears one evening, Ruthie and Fawn decide to search for clues and come across the hidden diary of Sarah tucked away under the floor boards of their old house. As Ruthie gets sucked into the search for her missing mother, she finds herself also plunged into the century old mystery of the death of Sara and her daughter. Ruthie hopes that secrets uncovered in the long hidden diary, along with other hidden clues found in the home, will help her find Alice. What she quickly discovers is that she isn’t the only person who is searching for a lost loved one.
I sort of have mixed feelings about this book. I did enjoy it and found it to be a fast paced read (even though it did take me longer than it should have to finish it….but that’s baseball’s fault, not the book), but….I still didn’t love it. Without giving away too many spoilers, I’ll say that I liked the idea and found it unique, but something sort of fell flat for me with the ending and the reveal of the “twist”. I sort of found myself thinking, “oh…that was it?”….but don’t worry…I seem to be in the minority according to other reviews of the books. Most people seem to really love it…people who I usually totally agree with on book reviews, so maybe I’m just a little ‘off’ 😉
So, if you enjoy a fast paced mystery with a little bit of a ghost story mixed in, you may really enjoy this one. Again….I didn’t NOT like it…I just didn’t love it like I’d hoped. I’m still glad that I read it 🙂
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars