Monday, June 24, 2019

Book Review | The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

The Winter People is a horror novel by Jennifer McMahon.

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter.

Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that has weighty consequences when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished. In her search for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked into the historical mystery, she discovers that she's not the only person looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.

There was a lot to keep track of in The Winter People, and I struggled a bit with it. It was a great Ladies of Horror Fiction readalong choice because there was so much mystery and so many questions that needed answers. Unfortunately, it also wasn’t a book that lended itself to being put down for any real length of time.

The Winter People was told through dual timelines. One was set in 1908 and the other was set in the present. I found myself enjoying the past timeline more than the present.

The creepy scenes scattered throughout The Winter People was my favorite aspect of the book. I think The Winter People would make a great read for a long, cold winter’s night. I would definitely recommend sitting down with this one when you have a good amount of time to devote to it.

Overall I’m pretty split down the middle on The Winter People. On one hand it had too many threads, and I wasn’t fully on board with believing the ending. On the other hand, I had a good time reading it since there was plenty of creepy horror to keep me going.


Have you read anything by Jennifer McMahon? I have a copy of The Night Sister on my TBR pile.

I really enjoy dual timelines, but I understand why some people aren't a fan of them. Do you enjoy them or do you prefer a linear story? I also don't mind multiple POVs. I wonder if people who like one tend to like the other. Let me know your thoughts!


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  1. I've not read this one but I really enjoyed The Night Sister so I'm hoping you have better luck with that one. I do have a copy of this one somewhere and I hope to read it one day, there are just too many other books ahead of it right now!

  2. I usually love dual timelines, but if they're not well done, I get really confused. I've heard good things about this book but haven't read it. I just finished a book where I don't feel like I got everything I could out of it since it was hard to concentrate, so I know what you mean about having to devote time😁

    1. I'm feeling the lack of concentration right now. It happens to me a lot.

  3. I remember thinking this book was really creepy when I read it...which is probably why I liked it so much. :)

  4. Ah, I struggle with dual timelines. Especially when one is much more interesting than the other. Great review!

    1. Yeah, that's when I struggle, too. I start longing for the other one. :) Thanks!

  5. I was expecting such greatness from The Winter People but was left feeling a bit disappointed in the end.


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