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The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

Ok, its been forever and a day since I posted something. Well, actually its been 3 months and 4 days since my last post. But I have finally managed to drag my ever-loving carcass out of the mire of procrastination and avoidance. Well, I have a bunch of books to talk about, so let’s get to it!

First up is one I read late summertime, but I feel it would be more suitable for the autumn. It is a great book to read while snugged up in a warm blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and the season changes outside. What book am I referring to? It is:

“The Invited” by Jennifer McMahon

In an attempt to deal with the death of Helen’s father, married couple Helen and Nate buy a four-acre area of land to build their own house from scratch. The issue is that the land they bought is the old plot of land where alleged witch Hattie Breckenridge resided in the early 1900s, it is also where she was lynched by a mob of local townsfolk after a fire in the school killed several kids. The house Helen and Nate builds incorporates items and material related to Hattie Breckenridge and her family, inviting their ghosts into Helen and Nates new house and Helen tries to uncover the tragic true tale of the Breckenridge family.

We also follow Olive (or Ollie to friends and family) teen girl and neighbour to Helen and Nate, whom is searching for the legendary lost treasure of Hattie Breckenridge and she is also trying to discover why her mother ran away from Olive and her father. At the same time Olive is dealing with her fathers constant redecorating in their home.

What I really enjoyed with this book is that it’s a mix between ghost story and a mystery story, the mystery being what happened to the Breckenridge family and what happened to Olives mother, was it another man or was it a nefarious reason to why she left? These two plotlines are interwoven seamlessly. One plotline doesn’t overshadow the other.

As well is there the fact that the characters are well rounded and multi-dimensional. The atmosphere is tense but not oppressing and it is not too fast paced, it is a slow but steady burn! No reason to rush things here!

One thing I find interesting is the obsessions that the main cast have, Helen is obsessed with the story of the Breckenridge family, Nate is obsessed with a white deer, Olive is obsessed with finding Hattie’s treasure and Olives father is obsessed with redecorating and refurbishing all the rooms at home. The difference is the men’s obsessions seem and are to some degree pointless and futile, whereas the women’s obsessions are grounded in real reasoning into why they do what they do.

All in all, McMahon has done stellar work writing “The Invited”. It is the perfect companion for a few chilly autumn nights and Halloween.

I give this book 4/5 haunted charred bricks.

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