Friday, October 25, 2013

The Winter People (Jennifer McMahon)

Bottom line…Jennifer McMahon is one of my favorite authors (probably only behind Jodi Picoult).  You can tell that every single page of her novels is crafted with the utmost care and designed to creep the heck out of you, her reader.  The Winter People is one of her scariest yet and is utterly suspenseful and strangely moving at the same time.

Alternating between the early part of the 1900s and present day, this is the story of how far someone would go to see a lost loved one again.  In 1908, Sara Harrison Shea is living with her husband, Martin, and her beloved daughter, Gertie.  Sara is completely devoted to Gertie, and when she loses her in a freak accident, seemingly goes out of her mind.  All along, she’s kept a diary; she hides the last few pages containing fragile information in a secret hiding place in her house.  In present day, Ruthie, Fawn, and Alice (their mother) are living in Sara’s old house, which is said to be haunted by the ghosts of Sara and Gertie.  One day, they discover their mom missing and go to great lengths to find her.  This will take them into dangerous territory, crossing paths with people who desperately want to find either Alice or those pages at any cost.

While not my favorite McMahon novel (I didn’t find it as multilayered as the others), it still proves that she’s one of the most talented authors writing today.  The Winter People chews you up and spits you out until you don’t think you can be creeped out anymore.