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Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

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.


  1. I started reading a book by her last year, but my bad reading year lead me to not finish. I would have to read a whole book by her to see what I think of her...

  2. I know many like her books, but I haven't tried her work yet. It's too bad about this one. I am trying to remember if I have this one . . .

  3. When I started your review i thought this might be something I would like but after finishing, I guess not so much. Too bad the premise sounded promising.

  4. Kelly - She is well-loved by many, but for some reason, even if I like portions of her novels, they feel lacking in some way. Can't really put my finger on why.

    Wendy - I love the cover on this one and the title, but the connection to the text is slight. You should try one of her works to see what you think. Her reviews are pretty positive.

  5. Caroline - It is always such a personal thing. I thought I was going to like this one a lot when I first started it, but somewhere along the way, it lost my support.

  6. I've looked at a few books of Jennifer McMahon's at libraries and bookstores, and I haven't been drawn in. I think I like the idea of her more than I would enjoy the actual books.

  7. Jenny - I'm so easy...offer me a free book, and I'll take it. Even if I've read a previous book by the same author that didn't gel. I'm also easily seduced by covers and titles. What a book slut!