Review: The Winter People, Jennifer McMahon

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley from the publisher in return for an honest review*
The Winter People, Jennifer McMahon
West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious 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. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's fate, she discovers that she's not the only person who's desperately looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself. (source: Goodreads)

Jennifer McMahon was born in 1968 and grew up with her grandmother in Connecticut. She graduated with a BA from Goddard College in 1991 and then studied poetry for a year in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College.
She has worked a wide variety of jobs deciding to write full time in 2000. She is living with her family in Vermont.

Stories about strange disappearances surrounded by legends always catch my interest. Reading one McMahons other books a while ago I knew her writing style was great and this made me very curious about this book.
During the first fifty pages I was confused. I could not keep the characters separate and it really took me a while to separate Gertie and Ruthie (maybe the ie sound at the end of the name). The atmosphere is set very well though. In a few pages you can feel the dark surroundings filled with scary things.
Eventually all the characters did fall in place and it was easier to follow the story. The story is told from multiple points of view switching between the now and 1908 and there are diary entries added too. You get a lot of information and not always in the right order. It does add to the mystery and the atmosphere but for me it as frustrating. The moment I thought I was coming close to a next clue to puzzle the subject or person changed and I got lost. Some of the situation felt forced to give the story a certain turn. But the story does have a great atmosphere which kept me reading till the end.

The Winter People
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 336
Format: eGalley
ISBN-10: 0385538499
ISBN-13: 9780385538497
Doubleday: various
The Winter People
3 stars

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09 February, 2014 delete

Hmm, I'm glad to have read your review! I started this book earlier this week, but I've gotten stalled within the first 30 pages or so. It's just not grabbing me -- but since you say that it gets better and comes together, maybe I'll stick with it a bit longer. Right now, I'm just not very into it.

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10 February, 2014 delete

The beginning was really hard. I did question myself to DNF it. Curious if you will finish it.

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Melinda
AUTHOR
10 February, 2014 delete

I was looking forward to your review when I saw this on one of your What are you reading posts. I don't think I would actually try this one, if it frustrated you so much, because it would me too. The synopsis really made it sounds like my kind of book!

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Isi
AUTHOR
10 February, 2014 delete

Ohh even though you felt a little bit disappointed, I think I would like this one. That cold atmosphere sounds great to me (I love winter!!).

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14 February, 2014 delete

Darn. I might skip this one. I was looking forward to it but it sounds like the issues you have would force me to put it down, anyway.

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