Winter Chills

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Need an absorbing fiction pick to curl up with on a cold night? These four books could fit the bill – each complements the winter season and features a touch of the supernatural and a touch of horror. These are stories about the monstrous within and without.

A mix of historical and fantasy fiction, The Crowfield Curse moves along at a good pace, while drawing a portrait of an empathetic boy making his own hard choices for the first time. It’s an absorbing adventure with an already published sequel ready to read.

The world of The Folk Keeper solidly its own, both familiar and unlike anything you may have read, it draws on folk tradition and the wide imagination of its creator to create an atmosphere in which its protagonist undergoes wonderful and painful personal growth.

The Moth Diaries, while set in 1960s America, has a similarly dreamy tone and sinister undertones. Klein refuses to spell out whether the possibly teenaged, possibly immortal villain of her narrators diaries is the monster she becomes in the narrator’s mind. This makes the story all the more creepy and tense.

Finally, The Winter People uses a mix of historical and contemporary narrative to heighten the suspense in an already suspenseful story – one of loss and resurrection, set in a sleepy Vermont town, surrounded by dark woods.

The Crowfield Curse

Will works as a servant in a monastery, orphaned since his parents died in a fire. It’s a hard life but he gets shelter and food and some companionship. One winter day, gathering wood in the forest, he finds an injured creature unlike any he has seen before: a hob. Helping the hob recover draws Will into the world of the fey, and the wars of the fey, as well as uncovers a decades-long secret kept by the monks.

The Folk Keeper

Corin earns his keep at the orphanage by being the Folk Keeper, withstanding and placating the ravenous and unseen Folk with milk, iron, salt and other tricks of the trade. When he is sent to Lady Alicia’s estate, the Folk there are much fiercer, and the people much nicer, making it hard for Corin to maintain his discipline and disguises, especially the ones he doesn’t even know he’s keeping up.

The Moth Diaries

The narrator of this book, an unnamed 16 year old girl, starts her junior year at a boarding school finally confident of her place in the social ecosystem. She’s rooming with her best friend, Lucy, and comfortable in her classes and sports. Then Ernessa moves in – mysterious Ernessa who can break the rules and not be punished, whose room smells but no one notices, who steals her best friend away. When girls start dying, only the narrator thinks she knows the truth, but she doesn’t know if she can trust her own mind.

The Winter People

Told in interwoven narratives spanning many years and focusing on the Vermont town of West Hall, The Winter People hinges on a diary written by early resident Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, is murdered, but not before she can write down that she has discovered how to bring the dead back. The diary entices a photographer mourning the death of his child to the town, a trip from which he never returns. It haunts the house where it was written and where a family now lives – the mother, Ruthie, suddenly disappeared on a winter day. These stories come together to illuminate the strange secrets that are hidden in the woods beyond Sara’s homestead.