Thursday, August 13, 2015

Book Review: The Uninvited by Cat Winters @catwinters

The Uninvited by Cat Winters book cover and review
I love the way Cat Winters takes an historical time period and immerses her readers in it. The Uninvited is no exception, portraying the influenza epidemic of 1918 in a unique and compelling way.

Ivy has finally recovered from the flu, but her world is still falling apart. There's also the war to consider, and the anti-German sentiment is pervasive in her small Illinois town. She also must live with the curse of the women in her family -- she occasionally sees the ghosts of her loved ones. And without fail, these visions are a prelude to the death of another of her loved ones. Ivy has a vision of her dead grandmother, then finds out her father and brother have brutally murdered a German shopkeeper in retaliation for her brother's death in the war.

Ivy can't take being at home anymore, so she goes and finds lodging in town. But she also feels compelled to visit the brother of the German man who was killed, and try to make up for what her family has done.

She's always been a recluse but now gets involved in rescuing people from the flu, listening to jazz, and building a relationship with the German man.

A couple of things worth mentioning. The Uninvited takes place in Illinois, where I'm from. Several references are made to Collinsville, where a German was murdered during this time just because he was German. I live about ten miles from Collinsville and knew nothing about this true story.

Secondly, this is an adult novel. I didn't realize this, since Winters' other novels have been young adult. At least I thought so. There's nothing explicit in the novel, but there are definitely adult themes, and I would only recommend this to mature teens who have enjoyed her previous stories.

The ending was a surprise. I didn't see that coming. But I liked it and thought it worked well. Given that historical fiction is my favorite genre, I thoroughly enjoyed The Uninvited and highly recommend it.

Published by William Morrow, August 11, 2015
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
368 pages

Rating: 5/5

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  1. Do you think this would be a good book club selection? We haven't read anything together at the 1918 pandemic. I liked her YA book about the flu and spiritualism. You don't give 5 out of 5 often, so I know this must be good.

    1. I think this would be easy to discuss. Between the war and the epidemic, and the anti-German sentiment. And the ghosts, of course....

  2. Oooh, this one sounds really good. I thought it was YA, too, so interesting that it's adult. I'm definitely going to check this one out, especially since you gave it such a positive review.

  3. I love cat winters writing. there is just something inviting about it. I am so glad you enjoyed this. is this connected to the shadow of blackbirds at all. I know its int he same year.

    i raelly can't wait to read this book. I wasn't aware it was adult either, but I have seen a few blogs mention it.

    1. I don't believe it's connected. I think Shadow takes place in California? San Francisco, maybe? This is in Illinois. Same historical atmosphere, but this is a small town. Enjoy!


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