The Winter People by Jennifer McMahonThe Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

The Winter People

byJennifer McMahon

Hardcover | October 18, 2016

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West Hall has always been a town of strange disappearances and legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who was found murdered in the field behind her house in 1908, a few short months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie, drove her mad. People say that Sara's ghost still walks after dark, and some leave offerings on their doorstep to keep her from entering their homes uninvited.

Now, in present day, Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they remain on the fringes, living off the land without internet or outside interference. But one morning Ruthie wakes up to find that Alice has disappeared without a trace. When she searches the house for clues, she is startled to find a secret compartment beneath the floorboards that contains two objects. One, a gun. And two, a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary.

The story the diary tells is one of a mother skating on the edge of sanity, willing to do whatever she can to bring her daughter back even if it means dabbling in dark and dangerous territory. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's death, she discovers that she's not the only one looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.
JENNIFER McMAHON is the author of six novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Island of Lost Girls and Promise Not to Tell. She graduated from Goddard College and studied poetry in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College. She currently lives with her partner and daughter in Montpelier, Vermont. The author lives in Montpe...
Title:The Winter PeopleFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:336 pages, 9.5 × 6.4 × 1.24 inShipping dimensions:9.5 × 6.4 × 1.24 inPublished:October 18, 2016Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385681453

ISBN - 13:9780385681452


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Strange Disappearances And Old Ledgends I have been wanting to read this book for quite some time and this is the first I have read by this author. This novel spans a century of family connection from the beginning to the end of the book. We are treated to spooky ghosts from the past and current goings on. All of the characters have their own story to tell and they all intertwine with each other. My favorite parts of the book were from 1908 with the stories of Sara and Martin. The book has a little tiny bit of a disconnect where it gets a little convoluted towards the end, but other than that its a solid entertaining read if you like this type of spirit world and magical powers genre.
Date published: 2019-07-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of Her Best One of her most suspenseful yet, the foray into the supernatural was a great addition to her skill for mystery and storytelling.
Date published: 2018-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book was fantastic. I couldn't put it down! McMahon really delivers the suspense and creates a spooky atmosphere that is hard to tear yourself away from.
Date published: 2018-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another great read Jennifer keeps you on the edge of your seat
Date published: 2017-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprisingly Good! I didn't think I would like the touch of supernatural beings but it was quite a page turner!
Date published: 2017-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow, wow, wow This was an awesome ghost story. It kept me at the edge of my seat from the beginning and it was full of plot twists... I definitely recommend this one for people who like creepy suspenseful novels. What a great read! #plumreviews
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh,where do I start? First of all it is beautifully written,with very vivid detail.It was spooky and gave me the chills.It was also sad and I could genuinely feel the longing Sara felt. I loved all aspects of this book and was in awe at the amount of detail the authorwas able to put into this book.I felt like I was actually there in all different time periods like a fly on the wall watching and feeling everything the characters felt.
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely a creepy, chilling read.. Review This book was wonderfully written. The story was addictive and a definite page turner but the last fifty pages or so lacked the depth found in the previous pages. It's not that I am not satisfied with the ending, I liked it... but it felt abrupt. I wouldn't have minded if the book was a little longer to explain certain things a bit more . And what's up with Gary by the way, that was a cliffhanger.. Too bad there isn't a sequel.
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Winter People This book legitimately scared me, but it was really good. A great page turner that you don't want to put down.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! The Winter People is about a mother that just can't let go of her deceased daughter and (decades later) a girl who's uncovering all their secrets from the past. It was heartbreaking yet chilling.. I was legitimately afraid when reading some parts, but just couldn't put it down. This is definitely a new favorite of mine.
Date published: 2015-05-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This story was sad, creepy and disturbing. I always wonder about the people who want to bring their deceased loved ones back from the dead. Do they really think that the reanimated corpse is going to be the same as in life? Has pet Sematary taught us nothing? This never turns out well. Looking back, nothing much happens but the overall feeling is so menacing and suspenseful that I couldn't stop listening. The ending was perfect and satisfying, although if you are looking for everything to be explained you will be disappointed. The audiobook narration is really great on this one with the dual narrators doing a fantastic job
Date published: 2015-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book is one of my new favorites! It was easy to read even though it skips back and forth between time. I absolutely loved this book from start to finish...I'm recommending it to everyone I know! Such an enjoyable read, unique, and at times very hauntingly startling.
Date published: 2014-09-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Little different for Jennifer but as always such a pleasure to read another of her books :)
Date published: 2014-09-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unique Paranormal Horror Story I've only read Dismantled by McMahon and have been anxious to read another book so was excited to sit down with her latest. The Winter People is a book I wanted to like more than I actually did. I kept reading hoping for something elusive that just didn't happen for me. Oh, it was a quick read. A unique paranormal horror story. Perhaps ghost story in a way, though some people are labelling it as zombie. It doesn't really fall in either category and yet it combines both together in a way that should appeal to fans of either genre. However, it is very supernatural, otherworldly and sometimes I just found people's acceptance of what was happening a bit too unrealistic. I felt the people should have been harder to convince and I was very disappointed with the ending. I don't think a girl that age would accept her fate so complacently. However, I did read the book very quickly so it certainly kept me entertained. I always enjoy stories told from different character points of view and/or that switch from past to present. Usually I enjoy the past story more but this time I found myself more interested in the two present stories and how they would end up connecting to each other even after the relation to the past had been planted. Decent spooky story with a living-dead theme.
Date published: 2014-04-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Just creepy enough Every now and then I want a book that will creep me out a bit. Not so creepy that I can't walk through the house with the lights out, but just eerie enough that I'll second guess that odd seeming thud. The Winter People filled in that need perfectly. It has parents mourning their lost children, a long dead midwife/herbalist who might also have been a witch, a missing parent and it's all set in a small town where every body knows every body's business just as they have for past decades. Ruthie can't wait to leave town, but now that her mom has gone missing, she can't leave her little sister alone , nor can she betray her parents' trust and call the police. Turns out that Ruthie's mom isn't the only person to go missing, in fact several people have gone missing over the years. In another part of town, Katherine, a new resident, is trying to come to terms with why her husband had travelled to West Hall to have lunch with an unknown woman and then died in a crash on his way home. The clues that Ruth and Katherine uncover in their quest for truth just seem to cloud the issues even further. Things aren't really what they seem. Each step forward pulls these two women closer together. Author Jennifer McMahon has skillfully woven the past and present together in such a way that one could no longer exist without the other. I needed to keep them both alive to me at the same time and living with someone who you know has been dead a long time is just plain creepy. When you're ready to read this book, ensure that you have everything you'll need at hand, cuddly blankets, tissue, a drink or two and lots of time. You won't want to stop once you get into the thick of the plot.
Date published: 2014-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow Wow what an amazing book.... I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down.. Everything about Sara was amazingly written... I definitely would recommend this book to many people. It has everything in it and more. Just wow.
Date published: 2014-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Chilling Ghost Story! Jennifer McMahon's "The Winter People" combines heartbreak, mystery,the undead and gory murders into a novel that's mesmerizing in its intensity. It's a ghost story that begins in 1908 when Sara Harrison Shea is found dead beside her fatally injured husband in a field behind their house. Years later rumours still abound in West Hill about mysterious disappearances and ghost sightings but Ruthie Washburne and her sister Fawn barely take notice until their mother Alice suddenly vanishes, leaving them alone in isolated farmhouse. Searching for clues Ruthie finds Sara Shea's diary and is sucked into an age old mystery that will lead her into unexpected danger with a shocking surprise. Like a Stephen King novel, the plot twists and turns as secrets are unravelled and a curse from the past brings horrific consequences. The story's well-written and mesmerizing as the threads of events from the past converge in the present in a chilling conclusion. With clever dexterity Jennifer McMahon introduces puzzling clues - a bone ring, a battered old diary and a haunted cave - that will meld lives past and present, touching and changing them forever. The characters are well-developed and bring power and complexity to this many layered plot. Sara Harrison Shea, a woman suffering from loss is strong-willed, superstitious and obsessed with her daughter Gertie. Her husband Martin is shy, patient, devoted to his family, but as tragic events unfold he changes, becoming guilt-ridden and torn by doubt and despair. Nineteen year old Ruthie Washburne is a clever, responsible girl plagued by uncertainty, determined to unravel the mystery of her mother's disappearance and protective of her young sister Fawn. Katherine, an artist haunted by the loss of her deceased husband is single-minded in her need to resolve the mystery of his sudden death. With all the tragedy and horror that pursues these characters, in the shadows there lurks a sinister evil darkness that's ready to devour an innocent ,loving child, and a strange woman, endowed with supernatural power who, after being abandoned by love, seeks solace in vengeance. Although I'm not a fan of the horror genre, " The Winter People" captured my interest with its emotional intensity, its suspense, moving characterizations and magnetic plot. 
Date published: 2014-02-19

Editorial Reviews

"[A] thrilling, chilling read." —Chatelaine   "McMahon is splendid when it comes to compelling narrative and menacing atmosphere." —Montreal Gazette   "One of the year's most chilling novels. She melds the mystery genre with the supernatural for a psychological thriller that is as scary as it is enthralling." —Miami Herald "Crisp, mysterious and scary. . . . The Winter People has a consistently eerie atmosphere, and some of its darker supernatural flights are reminiscent of Stephen King." —USA Today "A fascinatingly creepy tale. The historical foundation and the modern mystery blend together seamlessly, making the reader eager to find out the secrets Sara Harrison Shea might have known, while the exploration of mother-daughter love and loss makes both Sara's and Ruthie's narratives irresistible. Not a book to be read late at night, or in a creaky old house, The Winter People is a literary thriller to savor." —Shelf Awareness  "A ghost story that is . . . all too human. . . . A hauntingly beautiful read." — "In an edge-of-your-seat scary ghost story, Jennifer McMahon's The Winter People yanks you from one page to the next by expertly weaving the past and present. I will never look at the woods behind my home in the same way again!" —Heather Gudenkauf, author of The Weight of Silence  "A deliciously terrifying glimpse into a ghostly world that will haunt you long after you've finished the last page. Jennifer McMahon knows how to conjure your darkest fears and nightmares, while entertaining you with a clever, twisty plot that winds around and around, pulling you deep into the forbidden, secret world of The Winter People." —Chevy Stevens, author of Always Watching   "This is not a book that will sit unread on anyone's bedside table for very long. Open the first few pages and you are swept into a swift, dark current of unfolding events that will hold you enthralled. Much more than a spooky mystery of murder and mayhem, The Winter People blends the anguish of loss and the yearning for connection into one great story, well told." —Kate Alcott, author of The Dressmaker   "I don't believe in ghosts. At least that's what I kept telling myself as I read The Winter People. I also don't need to sleep with the lights on. I told myself that, too. But I was whistling past a graveyard—or, in this case—past a Vermont landscape that is authentic and recognizable and still altogether chilling. The Winter People is terrifying—everything you could want in a classic ghost story." —Chris Bohjalian, author of The Light in the Ruins   "Jennifer McMahon is a writer of exceptional talent, and The Winter People is a hypnotic, gripping and deeply moving thriller. With her beautifully drawn characters and complex, layered, and suspenseful story, McMahon has woven a dream from which I didn't want to wake—and couldn't have even if I wanted to." —Lisa Unger, author of In the Blood