The Winter People begins as the 1908 published journal of Sara Harrison Shea, Visitors from the Other Side. In the journal, Sara reveals that it is possible to bring the dead back to life. Sara lived with her husband and little girl on a farm in the shadow of the Devil's Hand, a large rock that juts straight out of the land. There are many legends about the Devil's Hand and children are discouraged from playing there. Sara tells of her life and the events that led to her terrible murder and suicide of her husband.
In the present, the Devil's Hand continues to be a sinister legend. Since Sara's death, people witness strange lights and figures in the woods near the rock. Animals and occasionally people would disappear. Sometimes their bodies would turn up and sometimes not. It's a place of fascination for people who believe in aliens and unexplainable phenomena.
Ruthie, her sister, and mother live on the old Shea farm now. Ruthie's mother is a paranoid "off the grid" kind of person, who gets by from selling knitted goods at the local farmers' market. Ruthie, having just graduated, has plans to leave the farm and start her life somewhere, anywhere, else, but when she comes home one night to discover her mother missing, her plans change. When Ruthie finds Sara's journal and other mysterious items hidden in the house, she realizes that her mother has been keeping dangerous secrets.
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Meanwhile, Ruthie pieces together parts of her mother's past to find out where she may have gone. Did she leave by choice or was she forced? And if she was kidnapped, who took her?
I listened to The Winter People on audio in just over a day. I could not turn it off. I found Sara's diary and the inner thoughts of Sara, her husband Martin, and their daughter Gertie to be much more interesting than what Ruthie was doing. Of course, what Ruthie discovers helps fill in the gaps of what happened 100 years ago. Just like in Don't Breathe a Word, there are plot twists and red herrings that lead to nowhere. Some of what happens in the present time takes some suspension of disbelief but overall, The Winter People is a creepy tale for a stormy winter night. You'll never look at closets the same way again.
About the Audio: The narrators are Cassandra Campbell and Kathe Mazur and until this moment I thought there was only one narrator. Either I don't play close enough attention to the narrators or they sound a lot alike.