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A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times best-selling 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 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.
About the Author
Jennifer McMahon is the author of nine novels, including the New York Times bestsellers The Winter People and Promise Not to Tell. She graduated from Goddard College and studied poetry in the MFA writing program at Vermont College.
“Entertaining. . . powerful. . . supplies a plethora of frights that emerge from believable characters trying to navigate normal lives. McMahon again proves that the modern ghost story is more than things that go bump in the night. It hinges on reality, slowly building to a terror that seems real and sometimes personal, as it does in THE INVITED.”
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“McMahon finds ingenuity in the likes of Shirley Jackson to craft a story. The chills come from equal helpings of both unearthly and tangible disquiet throughout.”
“McMahon blends her historical tale of rural Vermont with some crafty ghost stories and makes it impossible for the reader to turn away.” –Suspense Magazine
“Ghostly. . . engaging. . . unnerving.”
“Jennifer McMahon’s latest premise is utterly chilling: Imagine you don’t stumble upon a haunted house, you build one. The Invited deserves a special spot in the canon of great ghost stories, and will remind McMahon’s readers why she is such a worthy literary descendant of Shirley Jackson.”
— Chris Bohjalian, bestselling author of The Flight Attendant
A dream home becomes one of nightmares for a husband and wife attempting to start a new life in the woods of Vermont. Board by board, stone by stone, tragic events of the past creep toward the light in this delicious slow burn of a haunted tale.
— J.D. Barker, bestselling author of The Fourth Monkey and Dracul
“THE INVITED ha(s) one hell of a hook. . . I’ve been devouring it. McMahon’s prose is clean and unfussy, with a steady attention to tension. . . I don’t get scared by horror novels much anymore, but a scene of something otherworldly unfolding in the night actually gave me goosebumps.”
—Alex McLevy, The A.V. Club
“[A] powerful supernatural thriller…. Whether one believes in ghosts, McMahon’s consummately crafted chiller is guaranteed to haunt.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[The] blend of ghost story and modern mystery is flawlessly compelling and evocative. A masterful twist on the haunted-house story.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“The latest from McMahon is like a nesting doll - a thriller inside a murder mystery inside a ghost story - and will chill readers with every sideways glimpse of a passing shadow.”
— Library Journal
“On one level, The Invited is a straightforward mystery, but ghosts and spirits still haunt its edges in a truly unsettling way. . . . THE INVITED will appeal to mystery fans and devotees of paranormal fiction alike.” –The Book Reporter
“Rich enough in shivers to make a good fireside read for McMahon's many fans.”
—Seven Days Vermont