Short Review #20: The Invited by Jennifer McMahon (2019)

Rating: 3 out of 5 ⭐️
Title: The Invited: A Novel
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Published: 2019 (Doubleday, New York)
Pages: 353 (Hardcover)
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Horror, Paranormal
CW: violence, paranormal
Link Here

Borrowed copy of The Invited by some apples

October is officially here! 👻 And what better way to kick off spooky month than reading a paranormal horror novel? This week I read The Invited by Jennifer McMahon. I don’t remember where I heard of this one, but I liked the synopsis and thought it was going to be spooky. I read mixed reviews, and especially harsher ones from who have read previous thrillers by McMahon.

What people don’t understand, they destroy” – Jennifer McMahon, The Invited

Helen and Nate are a married couple who decide to quite their teaching jobs in a city of Connecticut, and buy a plot of land in rural Vermont and build a farm home. They’re seen as outsiders by the local townspeople while adjusting to a quieter life near the wilderness. Soon, strange things begin to happen as Helen investigates the dark history of their property in line with a local legend, Hattie Breckenridge, a suspected witch killed in the 1930s who may still be roaming the property and bog today. As they adjust into their new lives and meet some new faces, the couple begins to suspect they’re really building a haunted house for a questionable purpose.

Overall, I thought it was a great ghost story. I can see why others thought it was a bit slow moving at times, but honestly I was a fan by the end. But this is the first book I’ve read by McMahon so maybe I’m not biased enough. There were a few parts that I thought could have gone quicker, but the storytelling and atmosphere of the novel were strikingly told. By the end, I did have some chills running down my spine, and I didn’t guess the chilling ending either. To me, it was an interesting concept to write a novel where the couple is building the haunted house, not moving into one. Definitely kind of an original concept, to give McMahon credit. I thought the story was going to go in a different direction based on the premise, but I’m not complaining either.

Why should you read this book? If you’re looking for a fairly original haunted house/ghost story taking place in rural Vermont, you’re reading the right review. It is definitely a great, chilling pick for spooky season!

I give this one a 3 out of 5!


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