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Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Invited: A Novel by Jennifer McMahon

Release Date - April 30, 2019

I love a book set in my home state. I like to see if an author gets the details right. I like the familiarity. The Invited is a ghost story. Helen and Nate escape their Connecticut life to build a home on the Breckenridge bog.

Legend has it that the ghost of Hattie Breckenridge haunts the bog after being hung for witchcraft. Helen becomes fascinated by the stories and opts to research them. It isn't long before it's clear to her that someone, perhaps Hattie's ghost, wants nothing to do with people building on her land.

As Helen digs deeper into the history, she starts adding pieces of the past to the house they're building. Each piece puts them more in danger than before.

I never found The Invited to be creepy. Coming from multiple generations of Vermonters and hearing some of the stories of my own family's past, the stories of Hattie and her family come off as tragic more than scary. I found it to be a very atmospheric tale of the past and present colliding, but I wasn't ever spooked.

I did find this book hard to put down. The story is told from the viewpoints of Helen and Olive (a teen Helen befriends). As more history is revealed, you might find chapters from characters in the past, too. All add depth to the story that culminates in the truth about Olive's mom's disappearance. It was a quick and engaging story.

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