We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Winter People Audiobook

The Winter People: A Novel

Regular Price:$31.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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 )

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1036 )
5 star
 (356)
4 star
 (363)
3 star
 (219)
2 star
 (59)
1 star
 (39)
Overall
3.9 (939 )
5 star
 (321)
4 star
 (315)
3 star
 (202)
2 star
 (60)
1 star
 (41)
Story
4.1 (941 )
5 star
 (402)
4 star
 (313)
3 star
 (160)
2 star
 (38)
1 star
 (28)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Booklover 03-05-14
    Booklover 03-05-14

    wrytermom

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    84
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Structure is confusing at first but good tale"

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brook 04-19-14
    Brook 04-19-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    88
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    119
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Get past the narration of the first chapter"
    Any additional comments?

    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.")

    27 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel USA 10-12-15
    Mel USA 10-12-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13638
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    713
    319
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6640
    19
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Stay...Out...of...the...Woods"


    What's October without some goosebumps? It's challenging to find a good scary read that doesn't run through your head like a low budget horror film, so my October horror/thriller binge this year began with this novel, chosen from previous Audible members' great reviews. McMahon starts off strong creating an eerie and remote tale set against a bitter winter in Vermont during the early 1900's. From the opening pages, the story is charged with forboding and chills as a young Sara Harrison tells about the day she glimpsed a villager in the woods, whose funeral she had just attended. The distraught mother of the supposedly dead girl whisks her away and whispers to Sara, "Maybe someday you'll love someone enough to understand." Someday she will...

    The story moves back and forth from the past to present day as McMahon gathers a diverse cast of characters that will all be affected by the mysterious legends of the Winter People. In the modern sequences the story starts to reveal it's secrets when Alice, the eccentric mother of girls Ruthie and Fawn disappears and the girls began a search that turns up clues right beneath the floorboards in their mother's bedroom. Another present day character is a newly widowed woman that is still mourning the death of her son. Her need to understand the recent death of her husband propels her on a journey parallel to Ruthie and Fawn's. Throughout their journeys, entries from Sara's diaries are read that flesh out the legend and the characters, building the sense of impending doom when the searcher's paths collide.

    The tale is thick with atmosphere and suspense, an immersive read that is spooky and engaging, but it does require a hefty dose of suspending logic if you want to just enjoy a supernatural read for the sake of some good shivers. Sadness and sorrow don't automatically erase IQ points and make us stupid, and following the monster into a dark cave unarmed and unassisted is just that. I remember seeing a movie that began with a young couple walking in the front door of their newly acquired home where they are greeted by a threatening ghostly voice that moaned, "Get out!" For someone that would have left a smoking path of retreat, it's always hard to figure out what people that don't heed any kind of ghostly advice are thinking. But therein lies the crux of the Thriller.

    Recommend for a good spirited and creepy spine-chiller; the idea is vaguely along the lines of King's Pet Semetary. Wasn't it Queen that sang, "Who wants to live forever?" This book will add an *!* to that rhetorical question.

    22 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eva Gannon Chicago, Illinois, US 05-04-14
    Eva Gannon Chicago, Illinois, US 05-04-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    739
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    404
    111
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    49
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Book Spoiled By Poor Narration"

    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.

    17 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MissSusie66 02-17-14
    MissSusie66 02-17-14 Member Since 2010

    MissSusie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    831
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    222
    158
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    132
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Atmospheric, Haunting, and Addictive"

    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!

    5 stars

    15 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danielle Sundberg Isla Vista, CA United States 02-18-14
    Danielle Sundberg Isla Vista, CA United States 02-18-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining Mystery Novel"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy 04-17-14
    Judy 04-17-14

    I love a good supernatural story with good content, especially from authors that don't feel the need to add smut.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting from beginning to end"
    Where does The Winter People rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    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.


    What about Cassandra Campbell and Kathe Mazur ’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Nothing extreme, just an enjoyable read.


    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Morgan 07-29-16
    Morgan 07-29-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Great Winter's Tale"

    The perfect suspense story to listen to while snowed in on a cold winter's night. Not the gratuitous violence associated with the horror genre, just a nice cerebral quest into the truly frightening realm of what if.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cassidy C. Lovejoy Plano, TX 05-05-16
    Cassidy C. Lovejoy Plano, TX 05-05-16 Member Since 2015

    5a551dy

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Would rather read it myself, but great story."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Winter People to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version, but for me, the narrator really distracted me from the story, so I have to assume that I would have liked the print version better.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Throughout the entire book, the narrator sounded pretentious and melodramatic, which was not at all who the characters were. Her focus was so greatly on her snooty diction, that sentences didn't seem to flow correctly, in the intended rhythm. Some words were dragged out unnecessarily, (e.g. "in the living rooooom, on the shellllvesss"). I'll be steering clear of her in the future, as she did this wonderful book a great disservice.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    In my dreams, I'd listen to ANY book in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a haunting, compelling story. Once I made it through the weird drugged-sounding narration of the first chapter, I was drawn into the story itself and can't wait to read more by Jennifer McMahon, but I would absolutely read the print version next time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-25-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "winter people"

    I like the last chapter that Sara got disappointed by her self saying why she did all of her crime.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.