In the spirit of The Sixth Sense and other ghost stories, author Cat Winters brings you The Uninvited. The story takes place in 1918 during WWI and the great influenza epidemic which killed millions of people….all true and scary stuff. The story centers around 25 year-old Ivy Rowan who awakes from the flu only to discover just how much things have changed in her small town. Ivy has a gift passed down from the women in her family….a gift that she does not welcome. She has the ability to see the ghosts of people who have passed, but these ghosts only bring more sadness, for they have the ability to foretell a death of a loved one.
Ivy awakes and quickly spies a ghost, and she fears for her family. Soon enough she learns that her father and younger brother have just murdered a young German man in town out of revenge. Ivy is appalled and leaves home to make amends with German man’s brother. Ivy understands the grief of losing a brother, for her brother Billy has been killed overseas in the war. Once Ivy leaves her farmhouse, her life starts to spiral out of control. She discovers friendship, sickness, sadness, death, joy, music, and love. Through the next few days, secrets will be discovered as she continues to see more and more of the ghosts. What are they trying to tell her? Can she forgive her father and brother? Can she help make amends with the young German man?
A quick read….lots of questions throughout…all which will be answered.
This is a story of the Krause family that spans from 1890-2012, and let me tell you there is a ton of hostility in the men which is then women then transferred onto the daughter-in-laws. Yikes! I know we have all heard of mother-in-law horror stories. This is one of them. Luckily for me, I have the most fabulous mother-in-law possible….no, I am not kidding or trying to kiss up. I have been very blessed to have Donna….there is no drama there…just support and love. However, Kate is not so lucky. She meets Joe Krause through an online dating site, and they fall in love. She quickly becomes pregnant and they marry despite the disapproval of Joe’s mother, Trudy as well as Kate’s domineering grandmother. Kate knows little about Joe and his family, yet she agrees to move to Iowa to live on his family farm that has housed generations of Krause families.
Upon her arrival, she discovers she will be sharing her house with her mother-in-law who does not like her one little bit. Quickly, Joe begins to turn into another person…someone angry, controlling and abusive. Kate is scared and alone….she discovers the house holds secrets…a murder that happened years ago that started the Krause Curse. Now with her arrival, things begin to happen as they did 120 years earlier. Kate is in serious danger….can she find someone to help her? Can she escape Joe’s madness? Can she put an end to the curse?
I enjoyed the book…though I must admit I got a bit confused when they would talk about the past and which character they were talking about. All the men seemed to be named Joe, Joseph, Jacob or Will….I was easily confused as to who was who. I would just go back and reread and figure it out. I am good like that.
I liked Kate’s transformation though I questioned how she truly did a 180 from the timid girl who came to Iowa to a headstrong, determined woman. I am glad she did….it just happened rather quickly. Then again, it is fiction and sometimes it is best just did enjoy the story without dissecting it entirely.
While reading this fantastically creepy, spooky book, I would found myself checking under my bed to make sure my slippers were not haunted, and I would watch my boys stuffed toys to make sure they were not taunting me with their forever pasted-on grins. After an hour or so of reading, I would set the book aside carefully as if it were alive…only to return to it quickly…not wanting to neglect it. I finished it last night with Benny asleep on my stomach…..I had to finish it.
Ghost stories are something I craved as a child and young adult…I was drawn to them…looking for indisputable proof of their existence. Ghosts intrigue both believers and nonbelievers. A flash of light where there was none moments before, a clock that starts working after years of disrepair or a shadow that appears in a photograph where there was nothing….people seek an explanation for these sudden and unusual occurrences. And this is where the supernatural….ghosts enter the picture.
Searles has created a ghost story like nothing I have read before, and I recommend it highly. It is the 1980’s and we meet the Mason Family. Sylvie is the youngest daughter of Rose and Sylvester Mason whose profession is to help the haunted. Her mother has this calmness that helps her bring about peace for these individuals and her father has a “gift” for seeing things that others miss. Sylvie is a quiet, intelligent girl who tried to please her parents and teachers while her older sister has a dark secret and rebels against them. One night, the phone rings and the Mr. and Mrs. Mason are called to a small church in town for a meeting. It is snowing, it is dark and it is cold….they take Sylvie with them and leave her in the car. After a time, Sylvie begins to drift to sleep, but then she hears it. Gunshots….she heads into the church and discovers her parents have been murdered.
The story picks up a few months later with a possible suspect for the murders, and Sylvie is living with her sister who is now her legal guardian. Sylvie has become the only witness to the crime, and yet she has little memory of what she truly saw. She is determined to discover what happened that night in the church and the truth to her parents’ occupation. The reader is taken on a journey throughout the past. Through this journey we learn how the Mason’s have acquired possessed objects that now reside in their basement…especially the old raggedy doll named Penny who has to be kept in a rabbit cage with a sign that tells you not to open under any circumstance. Creepy. We discover how Sylvester and Rose first became “helpers” for the haunted. Sylvie’s journey leads her to answers for questions she didn’t know she had….
This book does not go on sale until September, but if you go to this site and pre-order, you will be entered into a chance to win tickets to see the musical MATILDA.
For more info on John Searles and his books: