The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

Publication Info: Published April 30, 2019 by Doubleday. Hardcover edition courtesy of my local library. Other editions available.

Summary: Helen and Nate decide to give up their hectic suburban lives and move to forty-four undeveloped acres in Vermont. There they live in a dilapidated trailer while building their dream home. Helen had some building experience, having worked with her father doing construction jobs when she was a child. Nate made up for his lack of experience with focused enthusiasm.

They were both delighted and surprised with the final purchase price of their property, well below what they expected to pay. They soon learned that the previous owner was anxious to sell after his wife drowned in the bog on the land. The property was also rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Hattie, a witch who was hanged several generations ago.

One of their neighbors was a troubled young girl, Olive, whose mother vanished mysteriously. Olive’s father was too enmeshed in grief to pay much attention to his daughter, so Olive was left to wander the neighbors property looking for “Hattie’s Treasure”, which her mother also wanted to find. Olive was determined to scare the new owners away by pretending to haunt them. This only got Helen more interested in the land’s spooky history. She was sure Hattie was guiding her toward objects from the past and the spirit wanted her to incorporate them into the house. As more artifacts are built into their home, Helen sees more ghosts. Nate, too, is chasing an elusive white deer with a variety of gadgets. But is the white deer real or one of Hattie’s incarnations?

Comments: The Invited was an interesting twist on a haunted house story. The house is new and becomes increasingly haunted as it is built. This is not a horror tale determined to shock the reader, but rather a much more gentle story. That’s the kind of ghost story I like.

Recommended for readers of Mysteries, Paranormal Fiction and stories about ghosts and witches.

My Rating: 4 STARS

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