Review: The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

The first word I thought when reading this book was “creepy.” Which, I suppose is appropriate, because when you look at McMahon’s Instagram page, her bio says “I write creepy books.” Well, lady is successful.  I am NOT a horror/paranormal fan for the most part.  I just, I don’t need to know if that stuff exists.  I’d prefer to remain ignorant quite frankly.  What that says about me, I’m not sure, but I am A-OK with it.

So, here’s the deal, I read the whole book.  There was a point where I thought I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through.  Not because it’s particularly scary, it’s really not, but because it’s just what is makes itself out to be, it’s creepy.

The Winter People revolves generally around three characters: Sara, Ruthie, and Katherine.  Sara is from the past and her life intertwines with Ruthie’s and Katherine’s in a twist of secrets, lies, and myths.  It’s a unique story very well written and executed.  Through the entire book you have to wonder how things are going to untangle themselves, and fortunately the story wraps up really well.  No real cliffhangers (well, there may be something at the end, but that’s up to you to decide).

This book was published in 2014, I’m a little late to the party on it, but as I said, this isn’t a genre I would generally gravitate towards.  I picked it up because the Airbnb I am staying at had a copy on the night table.  I figured I would give it a go.  Travelling doesn’t really allow for a lot of books to come along, and I had read everything on my eReader more than once, leaving this book to entertain me.  I was able to read this book during a 24 hour period.  Making it an easy read, something that would probably travel well, take it on a flight with you and you would be thoroughly entertained for a couple of hours.


The thing I found most interesting about this book was that in the end, the theory of “sleepers” ended up being true.  I stated earlier that horror/paranormal wasn’t something I generally read, but I do like a good mystery and in a lot of mysteries, there’s some element of something happening that just doesn’t make sense.  However, most of the time by the end of the book there’s some rationalization for what happened.  I trick of lighting, drugs, whatever have you – ghosts generally have a way of being explained.  In this book, they’re explained but only because there are in fact ghosts.  Sleepers do exist, and in one tragic case, one sleeper is stuck on earth for eternity.  I found that very intriguing.  McMahon just went for it – forget everyday logic – this is just a down and out ghost story.  I appreciate that.


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