BOOK REVIEW: The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Title: The Winter People
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Publication: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Anchor
Genre: Paranormal; Mystery
Pages: 480

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

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.


When the thriller/mystery genre recently won the poll for my book club, I will admit that I slightly deflated.  I am not a huge thriller/mystery reader.  I don’t know why.  Why I was younger I devoured every Agatha Christie book that I could.  Anyway, I started looking through my shelves for books to recommend.  I found three and this was one of them. I was rather excited when it won.  I had been looking at that book for a while and just never read it.  I tend to stick to what I like, romance, YA, Women’s literature, and historical fiction.  This gave me the chance to finally read it.  

Ruthie has been out partying with her boyfriend Buzz.  Coming home after her curfew.  She knows her mom will be furious. She comes home and every light in the house is on.  She goes in a finds the fire is out, all the lights are on and the cup of tea on the table is ice cold. She loads the fire, turns off the lights, and goes upstairs stepping in a puddle of water as she goes.  The mystery and events that happen after are haunting.  First off…… I had to read this book in the broad daylight because to me it was that creepy and haunting.  I tried to read it one night in bed and it jumped my heartrate to 120.   This book was so good.  I found myself getting lost in the mystery of it all and trying to figure out where Alice went.  The author does an amazing job of her flowing words and her writing style is really good.

I fell in love with the characters.  I was concerned with Fawn and her reoccurring fever.  What was causing it?  I commended Ruthie for taking over her mother’s roll in the house.  I did want to scold her when she never caused the police for her missing mother.  I was heartbroken with Sara when she went off the deep end with her daughter’s death.  However, it was a whole new ball of wax when I was getting to the end and realized what was actually happening.  The author kept me guessing until the very end of what was actually happening.  I loved the idea at the very end of Ruthie and her mother keeping the woods secret safe and alive.  Although I hope they do so in a very different way than what has been going on.  I really liked this author.  I think I may check out other books by her.  I have already recommended this book to several people who I know like the thriller/mystery genre.  


Pick up your copy of The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more from author Jennifer McMahon on her website here.

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