What people don’t understand, they destroy.
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Published: April 30, 2019
Length: About 12 hours, eAudiobook
Series: N/A – Standalone
A spirit may come to pass along a message you may not wish to hear or even to warn you of something.
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 start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it’s too late . . .
In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and their teaching jobs 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 charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home–wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks–she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie’s descendants, three generations of “Breckenridge women,” each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day.
Hi my friends! I hope you’re hangin’ in there these trying, confusing days! Audiobooks have been a great comfort to me recently because I’ve been feeling really stressed out and too crunched for time to read, and I wanted to make sure to share a great audiobook with you all!
The Invited, the most recent hauntingly creepy novel by Jennifer McMahon, was a deliciously crafted new take on the typical haunted house story and had just about everything I wanted and needed. This novel stars Helen and her husband Nate, two retired teachers striking out of the city to build their dream home in a historical little town in Vermont. Pretty soon after weird things start happening around their property and Helen can’t help but be intrigued by it all, especially as a history teacher. With the help of her neighbor, a teenager named Olive, Helen works hard to uncover the mystery of their new land, both past and present.
This novel had the perfect mix of creepy ghost story, puzzling mystery, and even a quaint rural small town. Now, I don’t know about you, but the idea of just moving into the woods, building my dream house with my husband, and spending the days researching the area and planning our own garden/self-sustaining homestead is literally a dream. So right away this book was really giving me all these vibes I wanted. Plus, I love a good ghost story, so I was SO into this right off the bat.
There are so many little mysteries happening throughout this book that I was left guessing at every corner and was never bored. This is such a fresh take on the traditional ghost story involving haunted houses because Helen and Nate are building their haunted house. Literally. Helen, both knowingly and unknowingly, is inviting Hattie and her family into her new home. It’s so intensely creepy the way this happens and how the ghosts make themselves known. Plus the history of Hattie and her family is just as haunting and sad. That little historical aspect where Helen and Olive are both unraveling the story of Hattie Breckenridge is so interesting and well crafted. Olive is also hunting for her mother, who has been missing for quite some time. So we have these two concurrent mysteries of what happened to Hattie and her family and what happened to Olive’s mother, and it all plays out so so so well. With an ending that I didn’t see coming at all!
The audiobook aspect of this story was also really well done. I think sometimes we listen to audiobooks that have a great story but we find fault in the telling of the story, but that wasn’t the case here. I loved the narrator and thought she did such a good job with the voices and the atmosphere, especially during the creepy/spooky scenes. I made the mistake of listening to this at night while I was driving around working and there were times I had to go out into the rural parts of my town and this book was SO creepy I had to turn it off. Loved it.
All in all this was such a great book and I loved the way it kept me interested and wrapped up in the story. If you’re needing something that’s creepy but also has a really good story line outside of the haunting, then this one is for you! I can’t recommend this one enough and it’s going to be a go-to rec for me!
Other books by Jennifer McMahon