The Winter People (Paperback)

By Jennifer McMahon

Anchor Books, 9780804169967, 400pp.

Publication Date: January 6, 2015

February 2014 Indie Next List

“This unsettling novel tackles one of the biggest questions there is: Can the dead be brought back to life? Weaving between 1908 and the present, the plot involves a missing mother, a dead husband, a revenge killing, secret papers hidden in cubby holes, a mother destroyed by grief, something terrifying that is buried, something evil uncovered in a field, and a closet door that has been nailed shut. An intricate and chilling ghost story, The Winter People will have you flying through its pages!”
— Dianah Hughley, Powell's Books, Inc, Portland, OR
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Description

The New York Times bestselling author of Promise Not to Tell returns with a simmering psychological thriller about ghostly secrets, dark choices, and the unbreakable bond between mothers and daughters.

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.

A Boston Globe Best Book of the Year


About the Author

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.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. 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?generic viagra price canada
  2. What was it like to read Sara’s diary, alternating with scenes from other time periods? Did Sara’s words change your vision of the spirit world? Did her bond with Gertie remind you of your own experience with a mother’s love?generic viagra price canada
  3. When Alice and her family inhabit Sara’s house and her land, how does that environment transform them? Do you believe that the history of a locale can influence your present-day experiences there?generic viagra price canada
  4. Ruthie and Fawn have been raised to question authority and to live a nonmaterialistic life. What benefits and challenges does their upbringing give them when their mother goes missing? Ultimately, what did Alice try to teach her daughters about becoming fulfilled women?generic viagra price canada
  5. Martin cherishes Sara and continually strives to please her. Does she love him in equal measure, or does her ancestry make it too difficult for an outsider to fully share a life with her?generic viagra price canada
  6. How was Sara affected by her history with her siblings, Constance and Jacob? Why did their father easily become dependent on Auntie, while Sara’s mother didn’t trust her?generic viagra price canada
  7. How did you react to Gertie’s hunger? What is its significance to the maternal women who must care for her?generic viagra price canada
  8. Consider the rules for waking a sleeper. What do the words and the ingredients represent in terms of the cycles of life and the nature of death?generic viagra price canada
  9. What were your theories about the many unsolved deaths in West Hall? Did your instincts prove to be correct when the truth about the Devil’s Hand was revealed?generic viagra price canada
  10. In The Winter People and previous novels by Jennifer McMahon that you have enjoyed, how is the author able to make surreal situations seem highly realistic? What role do fear and courage play in each of her books?generic viagra price canada
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