It seems to be things that go bump in the night week for me! Jennifer McMahon's latest book is The Winter People.
I love the dedication.....
" For Zeila. Because one day, you wanted to play a really creepy game about two sisters whose parents had disappeared in the woods ..... Sometimes it just happens."
And that's exactly what happens. Ruthie and Fawn live with their mother Alice in West Hall, Vermont on a hardscrabble farm near a rocky ridge known as The Devil's Hand. When Alice disappears without a trace, the girls search the house for clues - and come upon a diary hidden under the floorboards. The diary is from 1908 and belonged to Sara, a former resident of the house. What Ruthie reads seems impossible. But again, there have always been rumours and legends about Devil's Hand. And people do go missing.....
McMahon weaves her story through past and present as the girls search for their mother and we catch up by reading Sara's diary from 1908.
"She's one of the winter people. The people who are stuck between here and there, waiting. It reminds me of winter, how everything is all pale and cold and full of nothing, and all you can do is wait for sparing."
I really enjoyed the build up of the story and found it hard to put down - I wanted to know what had happened and what was going to happen. But I found one of the final characters involved in the ending overdone and the conclusion was a little too predictable and somewhat familiar. (Think Pet Semetary) For me, this somewhat detracted from what had been a good horror/ghost story up until then. Of the two narratives, I preferred Sara's from 1908. It was scarier and more atmospheric.
Still, The Winter People kept me turning pages on a dark winter night. Entertaining, but not my favourite McMahon book. (Island of Lost Girls is my fave) Read an excerpt of The Winter People.
You can find Jennifer McMahon on Facebook.