Comment 1

October Book

At The Bookly Club we read according to the season (more on that here). And what does fall put you in the mood for? For us it’s the perfect time to read something good and scary. We know, we know this year’s been scary enough! We’re definitely not in the mood for anything apocalyptic right now. BUT this October we’ve picked a book that’s a play on the classic haunted house story. And we think it’s just right time for curling up with a good book as the leaves change and the temperatures fall.

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon is a story about Nate and Helen; a young couple who decide to leave suburban life for a more rural setting on forty acres of land in the country. They plan to build their dream home together. As Helen finds inspiration through found objects in the local area—a beam from an old schoolroom, bricks from a mill, a mantel from a farmhouse—she becomes infatuated with the area’s dark history. The stories of Hattie Breckenridge, a local legend said to have died there about a century ago, and her descendants, consume Helen (the former history teacher). As the building goes on, the dream home soon becomes home to nightmares.

“A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times bestselling 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 build one…”

Jennifer McMahon

McMahon definitely has an imagination for spook. Growing up in her grandmother’s house on the East coast, she was convinced a ghost named Virgil lived in the attic. And as an adult she settled in Vermont and found herself living in a cabin with no electricity and no running water as she and her partner Drea built their own house. Sounds like inspiration for The Invited to me! And they now live in an old Victorian in Vermont that some neighbors say reminds them of the Addams family house, “which brings me immense pleasure,” she says. McMahon is the author of nine books, with another set to release next Spring.

{side note: if you haven’t read her book The Winter People yet, it’s a MUST READ}


This modern retelling of the classic haunted house story is just what we’re in the mood for, and we hope you are too. Not into scary stories? You should be brave and join us! Here’s how…

  1. Pick up a copy from where ever you get your books, and read along with us anytime between now and the end of August
  2. Keep us posted on social using #booklymark and tagging @thebooklyclub
  3. Stay tuned for our discussion post on Instagram and/or our reviews here on the blog to share our thoughts

Spooky reading


1 Comment

  1. Anonymous says

    I finished “The Invited” last night, and wanted to thank The Bookly Club for introducing me to author Jennifer McMahon. I will definitely be adding her other novel, “Winter People”, to my TBR pile, because I enjoyed “The Invited” so much!

    The plot of “The Invited” remained tight and taut throughout, and there was the perfect amount of creepiness and ghostliness to keep me riveted (as well as tucked under my comforter while reading in bed). A storyline like this one could’ve veered off into predictable plot contrivances, and the characters could’ve become ridiculous caricatures if their responses to the increasing paranormal occurrences were not tempered well. Jennifer McMahon was skillful at making the confluence of the Breckenridge women’s histories feel credible, so that the resolution of the plot felt satisfying and credible. Overall, the author’s ability to modulate between the physical and the paranormal, along with her grounded perspective of the good and the bad that exist in most relationships between husband and wife, parent and child, girlfriends and BFF’s, kept the story real. And, it was that sense of “this could happen,” that tethered a mild terror just along the pitch black edge of that circle of light I was in.


We'd love to hear from you! Comments below...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s