The Winter People

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 8:34 am

Reserve now!

The Winter People

Jennifer McMahon


reserve now!

In brief


A bone-chilling read that will have you screaming... DO NOT OPEN THE CLOSET DOOR!! EVER!

I know, I hear you. We are all so over winter, but please, do not be deterred by the title of this book. It really has nothing do with that shivery season. Having said that, I cannot guarantee you won't be covered with goosebumps by the end since the titular people are what they call "the sleepers," or the people who come back... from the dead.

Though the entire book is set in a secluded old farmhouse in a small Vermont town, the chapters alternate between the present and the past following the urban legend of Sara Harrison Shea. Legend has it that in 1908, so grief-stricken after losing her only child, Sara gruesomely murdered her husband and continues to haunt the small town. There has been a long history of slaughtered farm animals and a series of mysterious disappearances ever since. In the present day, Ruthie's mother has vanished. Ruthie scours her home-- Sara's old farm house-- for clues, and she discovers passages from Sara's secret diary. What Ruthie finds in the diary both unravels the story of a grieving mother who brought her child back from the dead in 1908 and the implications this story has in finding her missing mother.

This chilling exploration of love and loss asks the question: if you lost someone close to you, how far would you go to get them back? This dark, fast-paced novel is well-written and full of eerie suspense. I found myself unable to put it down and was really intrigued by Sara Harrison Shea's story, on which the book could have easily stood. This is a really great fusion of genres including horror, historical, mystery and supernatural, but the best way to describe it is to think of Stephen King's Pet Sematary, but with people.

I would have given this story more stars, but there were some moments that drove me bonkers, like the fact that Ruthie never called the police when her mother went missing, I mean wouldn't that be the first thing you do? Overall, though the story is sufficiently creepy and well-told. I definitely recommend it if you are looking for a spine-chilling, hair-raising and goosebump-inducing good read.