the winter people


The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Small town ghost story with a cast of characters who were appealing but not quite as three dimensional as one would hope.

This story felt very cinematic to me. As in, it seems like it could very easy be made into a a horror film with little modification to the storyline or scenes (but what do I know? I'm definitely not a screenwriter). This is great for anyone who intends to turn this into a film (and I'd be surprised if the film rights aren't actually even already bought), but I'm not entirely sure how well it works for a reader.

I can very easily imagine what the characters look like in my head, how they would appear in the film. But I didn't quite feel enough backstory, motivations, thoughts, for the characters in the book. They're driven by real emotions and motivations - grief, fear... but not by much sense nor much time, apparently, to think about things for the thirty seconds it might take to decide an idea might not make sense, or that some further information provided by another character might change their whole outlook.

This book is difficult for me to review and choose a rating. I started out with the more negative concerns, but I'd like to make sure you know that I sped right through it, anxious to get to the end. I was scared. One night I was home alone, reading in bed, and that really wasn't the best idea. Though I felt like some of the characterization and some of the plot points were lagging a bit, the narrative certainly deserves a four star, for keeping me intrigued and engaged. The concept and the dual storyline works very well here (I don't always find the dual storyline to be very effective).

Doubleday gave me the opportunity to read this book a bit early, and I was very excited. The synopsis was absolutely the sort of story that snares me; very much like the rest of McMahon's backlist, which I've always been interested in. Although this story was, perhaps, not quite what I'd hoped for (I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars), I'm still quite happy to have been given the opportunity to try this author out, and I will definitely be reading more of her in the future.