The Winter People is a novel written by Jennifer McMahon. It is set in the city of West Hall, Vermont, and it follows the story of someone both in the past, and the present. There isn’t a singular narrative in it, because it switches from character to character, but it is very easy to follow, because it switches at the beginning of a new chapter so you don’t have to keep track of it yourself.
The main focus of the novel is on Sara Harrison Shea, she was found dead in the field in front of her house in 1908, completely skinned. Her diary was found under the floor boards in her old house in more recent times and the family now living there has to somehow solve the mystery of her death and find out where the missing pieces from the diary is located. These missing pages conveniently contain information about how to bring people back from the dead. The house is located close to a rock formation called the Devil’s hand and guess what? It contains some sort of portal where the dead can return if you perform some grotesque ritual. In recent times we follow the story of Ruthie, whose mother has gone missing. It is her that finds the journal and realizes that her mother’s disappearance must have something to do with that woman.
All of the different stories that we follow converge in the end, although they can seem a bit too coincidental, they merge somewhat well. What I didn’t like about the novel though, is that the ending works out a bit too well, if that makes sense. It’s as if someone snapped their fingers and suddenly everything was back to normal. It could have done with a more implied end, leaving me with a sense of wonder and mystery instead of just plainly say that this and that happened and that all is well. It was a decent novel though, and I rated it 3/5 stars on Goodreads. It’s not the best novel I have read, but definitely not the worst.
Some things I have been loving this month, which includes
My immemorial year #1 & #2
Also known as “Withered + Sere” & “Crisped & Sere“, by TJ Klune. You can click the names to go to my reviews of the books. I really enjoyed them both, and they helped with bringing back my love of reading.
My new shelf
My dad helped me build this triangular shelf from some leftover wooden boards from my old queen sized bed. I stained them dark brown and made them look kinda distressed and rustic. I love the way it turned out.
The Makeup Revolution Fast Base Foundation
I don’t buy foundations often, because I tend to just use powders, but this one is amazing. I wrote a review of it, you should totally check it out. The best thing about it is that it only costs like £5. It’s so cheap! I can see it lasting for quite some time, plus it wont be too expensive to stock up on it.
Novelists – 5:12 AM
So that’s pretty much it! What have you been loving this month?
I read this one back in the later days of March, and I both loved and hated it equally. I have since been watching the TV adaptation too and boy does this mess with me. The novel is set in an alternative universe, where some women only have one purpose, to bear children for the wives of generals who cannot do so. Or just to keep humanity going. The story follows the narrator Offred, or June, as she was called. She tells her story about how it is to live in Gilead, a place where she is in a room, with no light fixtures, shatter proof glass, nothing sharp, there’s no way out. All she does is buy groceries, or have sex with the head of the house. Great life, right? Not to mention the wall of bodies people have to pass when they are out for a walk. Who knows who you might end up seeing hanging from there?
Just the thought of a future that could end up like this terrifies me. The book was quite graphic and I wanted to stop reading at some points, but I don’t know why I didn’t. Something compelled me to continue reading. I am kind of glad I finished it, just to get it over with, because just the thought of Gilead sends shivers down my spine. No one deserves to be dehumanized like the women are in the book, and the show. We’re all worthy of better lives than that.
I think the book is considered very controversial, because when I first looked at the reviews it had, people either hated it, or absolutely loved it, I honestly couldn’t find anything in between. No one though it was just “okay”, it was either “fucking terrible” or “amazing, a classic”. For me it’s definitely a mix of both. I loved it, I hated it, I want nothing to do with it but I also want to re-read it. I guess I could just settle for finishing season one. It’s really good, and awful at the same time. There’s a lot of scenes I just can’t watch because they’re really graphic. Have you read this one? What did you think about it? I rated it 4/5 on Goodreads.
This weekend everyone had time off on both Sunday and Monday so it has been quite the long weekend overall. As I’m still recovering from surgery I’m pretty much restricted from leaving the house still, but I can at least enjoy the weather out on the.. porch? Veranda? I don’t know what it’s called in English. I spend part of my day sitting outside, having a burger and some soda for lunch, because I haven’t had that in ages. I also spent some time reading a book called Rapture, based on the Bioshock games series. It counts as an official prequel. I talked about how much I love Bioshock in my April summary post. The book basically shows you how the city of Rapture came to be. I think it’s quite interesting so far, will post a review once I finish it.
Overall I just had a really relaxed weekend, spent it cuddling the cats and just enjoying the sunshine for once. It was a tiny bit windy but it really helped keeping me from getting completely fried by the sun. What have you done over the weekend? Anything exciting? Also did you have Monday off too?
Crisped + Sere is the second dystopian, or post apocalyptic book written by TJ Klune. It continues the story of the protagonist Cavalo, and it’s still located in the state of Idaho, USA. If you want to read my review of the first part of this 2-part book series, click here.
In the first novel we were introduced to the Dead Rabbit named Lucas, who turned out to be the key to eliminating the leader of the Dead Rabbits, Patrick. On Lucas’ skin, parts of a map is tattooed and Patrick has the remaining coordinates and whatnot so they need to get to him. They have 21 days to come up with a plan before Patrick comes to take Lucas from them, seeing as he is his son.
Cavalo and the inhabitants of Cottonwood does everything they can to prepare for the upcoming battle, but it is on a way larger scale than they expect and they are temporarily defeated as they capture Lucas and bring him to a different location. They send a rescue mission after him which leads to the end of the novel, so I won’t talk too much about that.
The ending of the novel felt a bit dragged out for me, it could have ended a chapter before it, but it wasn’t too bad. It just didn’t add much that I cared for. There is also a sex scene or two in this one, which wasn’t too much of a bother, I just skipped over the few pages it went over. I don’t think the second novel was as gory as the first, since it was more about the large fight between the Dead Rabbits and the inhabitants of Cottonwood, so it focused more on what happened instead of isolated events.
It was a good follow up to the first and I am glad I read it, and that I got some closure. Again, if you cannot handle gory descriptions, you probably won’t enjoy this one, there’s not much but what is there is quite descriptive. I gave this 5/5 stars on Goodreads, since it’s one of the best series I have read in a while. TJ Klune is a great story teller.