The New York Times best-selling author of Promise Not to Tell returns with a simmering literary thriller about ghostly secrets, dark choices, and the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters...sometimes too unbreakable.
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, Gertie. Now, in present day, 19-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching 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 deeper into the mystery of Sara's fate, she discovers that she's not the only person who's desperately looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.
©2014 Jennifer McMahon (P)2014 Random House Audio
"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)
"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 )
I almost stopped reading this book because the narrator was so annoying. Because it got good reviews from reviewers I respect, I bought the Kindle companion and read the book.
The narrator reads the beginning in a breathy voice that got on my last nerve. I suppose she thought it sounded childlike, but it was simply irritating.
The story hops back and forth between present and past. The narrator made it incomprehensible. I was totally lost. Once in the Kindle book, I had to begin over again to get the story sorted out.
I'm glad I did, it was a worthwhile read. The plot is novel, the characters realistic and engaging. The ending provides an interesting twist on immortality.
I recommend this book, but only on Kindle or in print.
Some of the narration was great; however, the narration of the first chapter -- in which the reader was, presumably, attempting to sound lyrical & whimsical -- made me want to put a pencil through my eardrum. Almost returned audiobook at that point but skipped past it & as the narrative got more serious, so did the narration. Thankfully. (I really wish some of these reader would just read & stop trying to "act.")
I love a good supernatural story with good content, especially from authors that don't feel the need to add smut.
This is one of the best stories I've read lately. So often, the background story is given in the beginning and doesn't capture the readers interest but this author captured my interest from the very beginning.
Not on the edge of my seat but I looked forward to quiet time so I could listen to the story. I even shooed my husband out of the room once so I could have quiet to listen.
I hate to sound insulting but I do not like Cassandra Campbell's voice. She sounds so incredibly whiny that I want to reach through the book and slap her. This is the third book I've read that she's narrated and once she goes into her version of helplessness, it is mind-numbing.
Nothing extreme, just an enjoyable read.
This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I don’t think I took a breath for the last hour or so. I did not want to put this book down, I needed to know what exactly was going on with everyone in the book!
This is a great story, atmospheric, haunting, and addictive. I loved how all the stories came together and all the timelines were very well written and flowed beautifully with each other. The past & present stories were both great. I also really liked the characters especially Sara because I think she went through the most emotionally.
This is a hard book to review because the way the story wraps around it would be so easy to spoil it for someone and I wouldn’t want anyone to not get the full effect of how this story plays out. So much of the story leaves you guessing and wondering what is real and what is not and I enjoyed the parts of Sara’s diary that gives so many clues as to what is really going on but also leaves much unsaid or lost. The craziness of the first big reveal caught me totally off-guard it wasn’t something I expected at all and that makes for a great book!
Cassandra Campbell & Kathe Mazur were the narrators and I thought they did a wonderful job even if their voices are very similar you still knew who was telling the story. I thought they were able to bring a softness to the tale when warranted and creeped me out just enough!(which is a good thing)
This is so much more than a ghost story it is also a story of family and what that means and how you treat people may come back to haunt you (heehee see what I did there?). But the ending OMG the ending in reference to Katherine did she?? Didn’t she??? And poor Ruthie I feel bad for her. Sorry, but just had to have my say on that and make it spoiler free, when you read the book you will understand and Yes you really do need to read this book!
Lesson #1 from this book let the dead stay dead!
The Winter People is a ripping good ghost story that has good twists, turns, and surprises. The story jumps around in time between the past and the present, however, and is a bit hard to follow if you are not listening carefully.
I found this audiobook very interesting and entertaining. It held my interest and I was excited to get in the car every morning and get to listen to the story further. I found the weaving of the story lines from the two different times periods (1908 and present day) told from the perspective of the different characters to be an effective story telling device. I was pretty easily able to figure out the ending, but, even so, it was still enjoyable to listen and hear the story unfold.
This one had a slow start for me, it begins with Sarah's diary and it is read in such a morose and raspy way that almost turned me off to the book. As I hate to waste a credit I continued and soon enough I found it drew me in unitl I had to learn if it was insanity or true monsters that plagued these people. It got better and better so glad a stuck to it.
Hmm, I cant think of another Ive read like this but it was well worth my time in the end.
Yes, she did. She did translate the sadness and soul of the characters very well. You can feel the depression.
Oh I did cry toward the end when Sarah finally learns about how her daughter died and that she and her husband's love for her is very endearing.
I found slow areas for me but they were resolved quickly enough. A good spooky book.
I have come across this story many times and I finally listened to it! To my surprise, it was exciting interesting and one of the best stories I have listened to in a while.
There are few things better than a good story well told!
I found this story engaging but very hard to follow. It seemed disjointed somehow. Maybe print would be better. I think chapter and section headings would have made a difference.
i like to read. i like to listen.
this book was a horror story and a mystery story and a story of family and love and regret and desperation all wrapped up into a wonderfully written and quite engaging novel.
the characters of ruthy and fawn were easy to root for...easy to love. sara and gertie were both mysterious and a tragic.
i'm a fan of jennifer mcmahon. i think she writes a tightly wound thrilling story with extremely well thought out characters. she knows how to weave in the magical element where it's not hokey or over the top...it's actually believable and really draws you in as a reader.
i will excitedly devour anything she writes until she stops writing.
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