I requested this book from NetGalley and PRAYED that I would be approved. You might have heard my squeal of joy when I was granted approval to read it and give an honest review.
These days, I don't read most books more than once. My To Read list is too long and too full of great books I haven't read yet. Every once in awhile, though, I read a book that makes me want to flip back to the beginning and read it again. When I read that sort of book, it gets five stars.
I'm a big fan of Jennifer McMahon. I find her stories eerie, spooky, slightly scary and enormously entertaining. I was highly anticipating The Winter People and it did not disappoint. I was even thinking about it this morning, the weight of the entire story on my shoulders, on my mind.
This novel is told in dual time periods via entries from Sara Harrison Shea's diary from 1908-1910 and present day Ruthie, Alice and Fawn who live in the same house. As always, McMahon introduces a little bit of black magic via Sara's Auntie, who tells Sara of how to make the dead undead, that is bring the dead back to life. This information becomes necessary when her beloved daughter Gertie disappears and is found later at the bottom of a well.
Many years later, Alice is raising her two daughter after the death of her husband. They live 'off the grid' and under the radar, a decision that proves to be a problem when Alice disappears into thin air one morning. Ruthie searches the house for reasons as to why Alice would leave and finds clues that don't make sense-- two wallets belonging to people who've been missing for years and a loaded gun. As well, a backpack with an expensive camera and sensitive information. These items, as innocent as they seem, bring Ruthie and young Fawn into the story of Sara Harrison Shea and the 'Sleepers', or the undead.
I love a story with a lot of layers and details and fine fibers that wind together. What happens in 1908 has a direct effect on Present day Ruthie and Alice and unbelievably, the past completely collides with and is enveloped in the present.
I don't want to give away too much, I'll just say that "Sleepers never sleep". Auntie said that if a Sleeper took a life during the seven days they walk the earth after awakening, they don't go away again... they are stuck here forever. Let that bit of information guide and inform you!
I truly enjoyed this book and could see re-reading it quite soon. I wish it was coming out this year because it would be a perfect Halloween read, very Zombies, Walking Dead-ish. Unfortunately, it won't be out until February.