The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

The Invited: A Novel by [McMahon, Jennifer]

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Doubleday Books, Doubleday

Date of publication: April 30th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Where you can find The Invited: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book synopsis:

A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times best-selling author of THE WINTER PEOPLE, returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don’t simply move into a haunted house, they start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it’s too late…

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home – wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks — she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie’s descendants, three generations of “Breckenridge women,” each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day.


My review:

Helen and Neal are living the dream. After inheriting money from Helen’s father, they decided to build their own house in Vermont. Shortly after they start building, Helen hears about the legend of Hattie Breckenridge. Her obsession begins when Hattie manifests in the new home. While she is out collection materials that were involved with each descendants death, Nate is obsessing over a white deer. What is the connection? Will the secrets that the town has long suppressed come back to haunt the people? Who is willing to kill to keep them that way? And how does Helen figure into all of this? Who is she supposed to save and why?


I was intrigued by a thriller set in Vermont. I can count on one hand how many books I have read that took place there. Out of all of those books, zero were thrillers. Which was the main reason I decided to request the book. I am happy to say that the author did pull it off.

The main plot line of The Invited was an interesting one. I haven’t read a book where the haunted house was built. Every other thriller that involves ghosts, the house were already built. It was a refreshing change.

The plot line with Helen and her obsession with finding Hattie’s descendants was written beautifully. I agreed with Nate at one point in the book. I thought that it was morbid that Helen was bringing in items that were present during a violent death to put in their new house. But at the same time, I got why Helen was doing it.

I thought I figured out Olive’s story line reasonably early in the book. Yeah, word to the wise, don’t do that because it came back to bite me in the butt. I was thrown for a loop not once but twice. I will say that I thought Olive would have made a great detective. I am not going to say much more than that.

I liked that I got to see what Hattie, Jane, Ann, and Gloria went through before their deaths.Out of all of the story lines, I was surprised by Jane’s. I was surprised at what she revealed.

I thought that the characters in The Invited were well written and well rounded out. The author did a great job of giving them depth. Their stories pulled at my heart: Olive’s, the most. Even the characters I didn’t like were well written.

The Invited fit well with the thriller genre. There were times in the book where I didn’t know what was going to happen or who it was going to happen too.

I loved how the paranormal angle of the book was written. It wasn’t overpowering. There was just the right amount of ghosts in the book. Which is something I never thought I would say. Plus, Hattie never harmed anyone. She manifested only to Helen.

If I liked the book so much, why the 3.5-star rating. I didn’t like how Riley’s story line turned out. I don’t like it when a character does a sudden 180, which Riley did. It baffled me.

The ending bothered me. Why reveal what it revealed then? Why to the person it was shown to? I don’t get bothered by endings, but this one got to me. There were too many whys, what ifs and a wth on my end.


I would give The Invited an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Invited. I would recommend this book to family and friends.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Invited.

All opinions stated in this review of The Invited are mine.


Have you read The Invited?

What are your thoughts?

Do you believe in the paranormal?

Let me know!!

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3 thoughts on “The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

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