Published by Doubleday on February 11th 2014
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West Hall, Vermont is a town where people go missing without explanation. This remote small town has it secrets and wants to keep it that way. The most mysterious secret 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, Gertie. Skip to the present day where 19 year old Ruthie returns home to find her Mother, Alice, missing. Ruthie, her Mother and her Younger sister, Fawn, have been living in the house where Sara Harrison Shea used to live. While trying to figure out where her Mother is and why she is missing, Ruthie finds a diary that once belonged to Sara Harrison Shea hidden under the floorboards of her mother’s bedroom. Has History repeated itself in this modern day ghost story? There is also the story of Kathryn who comes to town to investigate the death of her husband who visited West Hall, Vermont without her knowledge.
The Winter People is a beautifully written page turner. It is a spooky ghost story that blends the story between the turn of the 20th century and the present day. I hated putting this book down. The characters are vividly written and developed. There are many characters in this book but they do not overwhelm the story or the reader. We learn in the beginning of the book that the town experiences “sleepers” or ghosts. Are the sleepers or ghosts in this book bad or does the problem lay with the living and the desperate lengths they will go to see their loved ones one last time. This book tells the story of people dealing with untimely deaths. Even though the story jumps back and forth between present day and 1908; it does not get confusing. This book asks the question “what power do the dead have over the living?” If you had the chance to bring back a deceased love one for just a short period of time to say goodbye would you? But most importantly this book also reminds the reader of the old adage “be careful what you wish for”