(I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher)
During the winter months, I tend to find myself drawn to mysteries and suspense novels. I have never been a horror fan but I love a good ghost story. THE WINTER PEOPLE seemed like the perfect fireside read.
In 1908, in a small town in Vermont, the body of Sarah Harrison Shea was found in the field behind her house. Just months after the tragic death of her young daughter. Pages of Sarah's diary that were found after her death recount what was happening in the days leading up to her murder. But the last few pages have never been found.
In the present day, 19-yr-old Ruthie lives with her mother and little sister in Shea's former house. The two girls wake up one morning to discover their mother missing. Ruthie ransacks the house looking for clues and finds a copy of Shea's diary hidden below the floorboards of her mother's bedroom.
Ruthie's search for her mother and the story revealed through Shea's diary bring the reader into a world of witchcraft and sinister happenings where "walkers" can be brought back from the dead. Ruthie is joined by other people in her search who are looking for her mother and the missing pages of the diary for their own reasons.
I have not been scared by a book in a very long time. This one kept me up at night. It reminded me a little bit of THE SNOW CHILD by Eowyn Ivey although this one is much much darker. There were a few frustrating unanswered questions in the book and I felt the ending was a bit rushed but it was a very enjoyable (if frightening) read.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended for lovers of suspense. I would not recommend this for the faint of heart. It is very very dark. But I thought it was the perfect read for cold evenings by the fire. It will definitely stay with me for awhile.