Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Synopsis: 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, nineteen-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.

Review: I did not know about the author or the novel before discovering Winter People. The synopsis seemed interesting and that’s what motivated me to get into the story.

I had a bit of trouble initially to connect to the story. I’m not really a fan of the multiple point of view and that’s what we have here. I am very good at losing myself between all the characters and at being confused, so when I saw that we were following a certain number of them and all that at different times, I began to be afraid. Yet, after a while and even if I was a little lost about Katherine, I managed to get interested in each of the protagonists and to witness with curiosity of the sequence of the events. Besides, I was really waiting to find out what had happened whatever was said. The truth is quite different and I confess that it was a real surprise!

As I said, we have various eras, a part in 1908 and a second these days. Different characters share them and the author firstly introduces Sara and Martin, a couple who just lost their daughter, deceased, then mainly Ruthie, whose mother disappeared without leaving any traces. From there, the girl will take her little sister under her wing and will try to understand where their mother may be. Yet they do not expect to awaken the desires of greed in others or even to confront old beliefs that can bring the dead back to life.

It was an interesting story and although I had, as I said, a little bit of time to really get into the novel, I had a good time. The author presents us with a rather different story that we try to understand. I will not say more because I am afraid to reveal too much, but it was finally a good surprise.




28 thoughts on “Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

  1. I am not a fan of multiple point of views either. Glad you stuck it out and was rewarded. This one was on my radar last year, a little disappointed I passed up on it cause it sounds kind of good!

  2. I haven’t heard of this one and I’m not entirely sure it’s for me as I tend to give up early when a book doesn’t grab my attention or make much sense, but this seems really different and very unique! Great review–I will possibly check this one out.

  3. I have read mixed reviews on this one and I tried one of her other books, The Night Sister, and I wasnt’ overly impressed, I just don’t think this author is for me. Glad you enjoyed it for the most part.

  4. Oooh. This sounds interesting. I don’t mind multiple POVs, and in some books really enjoy them. But they can get confusing. Thanks for sharing on this one.

  5. I’m glad you stuck through and ended up loving it. I’ve been curious about this novel since it came out. I especially love the cover, and the synopsis has a good hook. Too bad about the number of POVs, though. I set my limit to 2. LOL.

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