The Winter People
By Jennifer Mcmahon
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780804169967, 400pp.)
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
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A Boston Globe Best Book of the Year
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.
Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that has weighty consequences when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished. In her search 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 into the historical mystery, she discovers that she’s not the only person looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.
Jennifer McMahon is the author of six novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Island of Lost Girls and Promise Not to Tell. She graduated from Goddard College and studied poetry in the MFA Writing Program at Vermont College. She currently lives with her partner and daughter in Montpelier, Vermont.
- At the heart of the novel is the longing to be reunited with a loved one who has died. How would you respond to this possibility, even if you could only see your beloved for one week? What risks would you take to take to experience such a reunion?
“Everything you could want in a classic ghost story.” —Chris Bohjalian, author of The Light in the Ruins
“One of the year’s most chilling novels. . . . Enthralling.”—The Miami Herald
“Crisp, mysterious and scary. . . . Reminiscent of Stephen King.” —USA Today
“A hauntingly beautiful read.” —Oprah.com
“The Winter People is hypnotic, gripping and deeply moving. . . . A dream from which I didn't want to wake.” —Lisa Unger, author of In the Blood
“McMahon is a scrupulous writer, nicely attentive to the nuances of character and landscape.... The mournful voice of Sara Shea lingers in the memory, and McMahon, wisely, gives her the last word.” —The New York Times Book Review
“An edge-of-your-seat scary ghost story. . . . I will never look at the woods behind my home in the same way again!” —Heather Gudenkauf, author of The Weight of Silence
“Not a book to be read late at night, or in a creaky old house, The Winter People is a literary thriller to savor.” —Shelf Awareness
“Deliciously terrifying. . . . Jennifer McMahon knows how to conjure your darkest fears and nightmares . . . pulling you deep into the forbidden, secret world of The Winter People.” —Chevy Stevens, author of Always Watching
“The Winter People blends the anguish of loss and the yearning for connection into one great story, well told.” —Kate Alcott, author of The Dressmaker
“McMahon gives readers just what they want: can’t-put-it-down, stay-up-until-dawn reading. . . . [The Winter People] is also a poignant reminder of what grief can drive humans to do.” —BookPage
"Gives a fresh twist to a small-town ghost story.” —The South Florida Sun-Sentinel
“Hard to put down.” —The Oklahoman