The Invited // Jennifer McMahon

Do you ever getting blogging paralysis? I do. I feel like I don’t have anything to say, when really, given how much I read and think about books, I’m sure I can come up with something. Apparently I suffer from internet shyness, is that a thing?

I’ve been reading and enjoying Jennifer McMahon books for years now. When I was working on my MLIS (over a decade ago… yikes.), I had to take a young adult fiction class and create a database of recommended fiction. I included Promise Not to Tell as part of my adult/young adult crossover category. I remember thinking McMahon was an author to watch. Then I read The Winter People, followed by The Night Sister, and I became a loyal reader.

The Invited takes us to Vermont, where Connecticut school teachers Helen and Nick have moved to build their dream home. Soon after arriving, strange things begin to happen. Initially they ignore the ominous incidents, as one does, but a ghostly apparition finally forces Helen to investigate. With the help of two town residents, she lurks deeper into the dark past of her new home, inviting a danger she never imagined.

McMahon is a solid writer, and while her prose isn’t necessarily poetic, it keeps the pages turning quite well. Her characters are interesting and well realized, and I particularly love Olive in this novel. I love how the author dips her toe into the supernatural realm without moving into outright horror, as the result is an evocative, gothic ghost story. It would be an excellent autumn read, but I did thoroughly enjoy it in the middle of spring. It’s an easy book to recommend to anyone who loves a good ghost story.

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