The Winter People is a ghost story that takes place in two centuries. The story's origin takes place in the early 1900's when a series of tragedies shake a family and a small town. In the present day, Ruthie and her younger sister live with their unconventional mother in an old farmhouse in West Hall, Vermont.
Of course, Ruthie's family lives in the same house that Sara Harrison Shea's family occupied when the first series of tragedies occurred.
A number of strange disappearances have occurred over the years in this small township, but there is no real sense that the population is unduly concerned. The disappearances could be explainable by boredom with small town life...or connected to legends that the inhabitants only half believe and find a little titillating.
There are parts of the book that are pretty creepy, and the details of Shea family life in the past are a strong point, but ultimately this is a book that left me feeling manipulated, not satisfied.
I've only read one other book by McMahon, and I wasn't impressed with that one, either. I realize that she is a well-loved icon of her genre and that she has many devoted fans, but for some reason, her books don't work for me.
Read in Dec. of 2013.
Supernatural. Feb. 11, 2014. Print version: 336 pages.