Fiction, Horror (Teen), Mystery/Thriller, YA Fiction

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

I’ve been feeling pretty antsy while reading and it may be because I am looking for a change in genre. So I decided to borrow this “horror”/supernatural style novel on a whim and give it a go. It wasn’t a totally random choice as I was recommended it based on my interests from some reading site that I can’t remember but it wasn’t a book that I urgently wanted to read, either. Anyways, here is my review:

West Hall is a town known for the mysterious disappearances of its inhabitants, the most prominent being that of Sara Harrison Shea in 1908. Rumor has it that she was murdered by her husband soon after the grisly death of her young daughter, Gertie; her husband then committed suicide, leaving no clues as to what led to this tragedy. People still believe that Sara roams West Hall, searching for someone – or something.

In present day, Sara’s farmhouse is being occupied by Alice, who has two daughters: Ruthie, the eldest, and Fawn, who is just 6 years old. Alice has kept the family on the fringe of society, completely disconnected from the outside world. When Alice suddenly goes missing one morning, Ruthie decides to search the house for clues that could help her discover the whereabouts of her mother. Instead, she finds a gun, a wallet with someone else’s identity, and a diary belonging to Sara Harrison Shea. Through the diary, Ruthie will journey through the life of Sara, a mother who will do anything to get her daughter back – even if it means unleashing a monster.

At first, it took me a while to get into the story. There were so many characters that were female to keep track of and the voices were somewhat similar, making it difficult to distinguish between them all. But I was soon hooked. I needed to know how everyone was connected. At one point, I thought there was going to be a psychological twist that would render it null as a supernatural novel – but that didn’t happen. In fact, the author stuck to the theme of horror and “creation of monsters” at the end. This novel was okay for me; it didn’t have me running to a bookstore to buy it but it wasn’t terrible enough to give a bad review. The ending wasn’t nearly as good as the rest of the novel and the author could have played more on the idea of the supernatural. Still, not a bad read and worth giving a shot if you’re looking for a light novel.

Happy reading ~

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