The Winter People

Jennifer McMahon

fiction horror mystery thriller
dark mysterious medium-paced

317 pages | first published 2014

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.

Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that has weighty consequences when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished. In her search 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 into the historical mystery, she discovers that she's not the only person looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.

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dark 96%
mysterious 90%
tense 58%
adventurous 22%
sad 16%
emotional 9%
reflective 6%
challenging 3%
relaxing 3%


medium 63%
fast 23%
slow 13%

Plot- or character-driven?

Plot: 100%

Strong character development?

No: 54% | Yes: 33% | It's complicated: 12%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 54% | No: 25% | Yes: 16% | N/A: 4%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 86% | It's complicated: 8% | Yes: 4%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

No: 40% | It's complicated: 27% | Yes: 27% | N/A: 4%

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