If you’re building or renovating a home and like to repurpose old architectural features, this novel will make you think twice about those great finds you bring home. This is not your typical haunted house story. The unsuspecting couple doesn’t move into a haunted house. They build one.
The Invited is the story of Helen and Nate, a happily married couple from Connecticut who come into some money after a death in the family. They resign their jobs as teachers, sell their condo, and head north. Vermont, they decide, is the place for them.
They buy land that is primarily bog, but there’s a nice dry patch to build on. As their new dream home starts to come together, creepiness ensues. A young neighbor who spends much of her time around the bog doesn’t want them on the property. It seems other forces might not either.
Helen is into history and Nate is into nature. They’re pulled in different directions. Helen is drawn to the legend of Hattie, a supposed witch who was hanged on their property in the 1920s. Nate is determined to photograph or capture video footage of a white deer he’s been following on the property.
Building a home isn’t easy in the best of circumstances. Add new obsessions, things that go bump in the night, suspicious townsfolk, and their relationship begins to fray.
Other than referring to my beloved Connecticut as if it’s one big suburban strip mall, I absolutely loved this story. It is one of the most unique and believable ghost stories I’ve read. It’s also a powerful historical suspense novel that explores family dynamics and violence against women.
Title: The Invited
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Publisher: Doubleday | April 20, 2019
Bottom line: A multi-generational ghost story that’ll also appeal to the history buff.
The Invited is Jennifer McMahon’s ninth novel. She’s currently on tour for The Invited so check out her website or find her on social media to see if she’s coming to a town near you. If you’ve never gone to an author event I highly recommend you do. It’s a great way to support an author and get involved in your local literary community.