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The Invited by Jennifer McMahon- Feature and Review

By Gpangel @gpangel1
The Invited by Jennifer McMahon- Feature and Review
A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don't simply move into a haunted house--they build one . . .
In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams.
When they discover that this beautiful property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the local legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago.
With her passion for artifacts, Helen finds special materials to incorporate into the house--a beam from an old schoolroom, bricks from a mill, a mantel from a farmhouse--objects that draw her deeper into the story of Hattie and her descendants, three generations of Breckenridge women, each of whom died suspiciously.
As the building project progresses, the house will become a place of menace and unfinished business: a new home, now haunted, that beckons its owners and their neighbors toward unimaginable danger.
The InvitedThe Invited by Jennifer McMahon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Invited by Jennifer McMahon is a 2019 Doubleday publication.
Helen and Nate decide to go for their dreams instead of trying to compete in the never-ending rat race of the city. They move to Vermont, buy a parcel of land and begin building their dream house.
Before long they get wind of local folklore and legends about their property- and Helen is even given the side eye, with locals believing she’s been called there by Hattie, an alleged witch who died nearly a century ago. The place is supposed be haunted by Hattie- but of course, there’s no such thing as ghosts- right?
Still, Helen is fascinated by the history- while Nate has been drawn into the mysteries of the local wildlife. Something is off though.
Helen and Nate begin bickering, lying to each other and keeping secrets.
Meanwhile, Olive, a young local whose mother disappeared- is desperate to find her- is convinced Hattie left behind hidden treasure- and if she finds it- it could help her find out what happened to her mother.
After getting off to a rocky start with Helen and Nate, Olive, and her aunt, becomes a part of Helen’s obsession over including historical building materials in her home and with Olive’s treasure hunt- but mostly with Hattie’s shocking history that is somehow linked to Helen…
I don’t read paranormal or horror novels very often these days- but during the early fall months I always find myself ready to settle in for a good creepy tale- preferably one centered around haunted houses or ghost stories- and nothing too graphic.
This book fits the bill perfectly!!
This story has a historical element, hidden treasure, a mystery, and a ghost story. The suspense builds nicely, and the foreboding is palpable. I loved the way all threads came together and enjoyed the finale. I did figure some things out in advance- but it didn’t damper the effectiveness of the story at all.
It was tense, really creepy, and suspenseful without being too intense, and thankfully the atmosphere trumped all violence and gore!!
My kind of horror novel!!

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon- Feature and Review
I was born in 1968 and grew up in my grandmother’s house in suburban Connecticut, where I was convinced a ghost named Virgil lived in the attic. I wrote my first short story in third grade. I 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. A poem turned into a story, which turned into a novel, and I decided to take some time to think about whether I wanted to write poetry or fiction. After bouncing around the country, I wound up back in Vermont, living in a cabin with no electricity, running water, or phone with my partner, Drea, while we built our own house. Over the years, I have been a house painter, farm worker, paste-up artist, Easter Bunny, pizza delivery person, homeless shelter staff member, and counselor for adults and kids with mental illness — I quit my last real job in 2000 to work on writing full time. In 2004, I gave birth to our daughter, Zella. These days, we’re living in an old Victorian in Montpelier, Vermont. Some neighbors think it looks like the Addams family house, which brings me immense pleasure.

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