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review 2019-09-09 20:46
Pretty Boring Ghost Story
The Invited - Jennifer McMahon

This is the second book by McMahon I have read and honestly this may be my last. There was nothing really wrong with this one, I just found myself getting bored. I think that McMahon going back and forth between Helen and Olive didn't work. I also didn't really care for Olive so that didn't help. We have the underlying ghost story which was intriguing, but not enough to keep me wholly invested while reading this one.

 

"The Invited" follows married couple, Helen and Nate who move from their home in Connecticut, to live off the land on the ruins of an old farm in Vermont. Helen thinks that the location change is what she needs to make her happy and she throws herself into building up the home with her husband. We also follow 14 year old Olive who is dealing with the fact that her mother has abandoned her and her father. She thinks if she manages to scare off Helen and Nate, she may be able to find the treasure of a local woman named Hattie who was hung in the woods several decades ago in the 1920s. Eventually the story-lines merge up with Helen finding out more about Hattie and looking to communicate with her ghost. 

 

I honestly thought Helen and Nate's whole thing about "living" off the land was eye-roll inducing. Apparently farms are doing great in this fictional 2015 era we are reading about. Considering neither of them know anything about living off the land I had a flash to those Tiny House people who decide they will live off the land, with their five children in 1000 square feet. Bah. 

 

Olive initially bugged me, but grew on me after a while. I think I didn't mind her so much since McMahon jumps between her and Helen so much.

 

There's not much to say about the other women and Helen's husband in this story. They were not very developed and in the end the history of the other women we go to doesn't even matter. I am still puzzled why we follow them. 

 

The writing was okay, I just think that the book in the end jumped around too much. We start off with Hattie which was fine. Then we follow Helen, and then Olive. And we go back and forth between them during 2015. Then we jump back into the 1940s to follow another character and maybe at that point I ceased to even care what was going on. We jump again to another woman in the 1980s. And then we have another character to follow too. The flow just got hampered by all of this in my opinion. I just wanted to read the story and get to the end and felt impatient when we were not following Helen. 


The setting of Vermont didn't feel scary to me. I don't need blood and gore. I just think that McMahon didn't do enough to make me feel dread and fear like Helen did. I started comparing this to "Bag of Bones" and felt really disappointed after a while. 

 

The ending didn't really work for me at all. The whole buried treasure thing was such an inane plot point that I really wish that McMahon had given up on it. 

 


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text 2019-08-23 12:42
Moving on
The Invited - Jennifer McMahon
The Firm - John Grisham

I never got further than a couple pages into The Firm, and although I'm over halfway through The Invited, it just hasn't been the creepy book I thought it would be and I have zero desire to find out where it's going to go. These are both going back to the library, unfinished.

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text 2019-08-05 12:45
Reading progress update: I've read 182 out of 353 pages.
The Invited - Jennifer McMahon

Helen is now incorporating bricks from a building where people burned to death into the construction of her new home. Like, she's deliberately trying to build a haunted house. And she isn't telling her husband about her new goal. This is definitely the kind of thing couples get divorced over.

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text 2019-08-03 15:10
Reading progress update: I've read 122 out of 353 pages.
The Invited - Jennifer McMahon

Why in the hell would Helen, who at least partly believes in the ghost of Hattie, buy the wooden beam that was supposedly used to hang Hattie to use in the construction of her new home? Does the author realize that this just makes her look monumentally stupid?

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text 2019-08-01 13:42
Reading progress update: I've read 86 out of 353 pages.
The Invited - Jennifer McMahon

In the real world, this book would end with Helen and Nate burning through all of their money during their house building project, because neither one of them really knows what they're doing. Nate watched some Youtube videos and helped out with Habitat for Humanity, and Helen's dad used to do construction - they both know just enough to think they're probably doing fine, but not enough that I would actually trust any of their timeline and budget estimates (or want to use their plumbing, or touch their light switches, etc., assuming they even get that far).

 

Still no ghosts, not really. I don't count Nate and Helen's occasional mysteriously missing belongings and cash.

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