The Dead of Winter
“Written in the first person, The Dead of Winter introduces us to Michael by explaining his need to pen the eerie happenings around him. Like a horror version of The Secret Garden, The Dead of Winter is a supernatural page-turner, guaranteed to send goosebumps crawling across your skin, making this young adult novel a truly riveting read.”
Michael Vyner has just buried his mother. Grief stricken and inconsolable, the young boy wonders how he can survive without his beloved mom. Where will he live? His father died in the war saving another man’s life, and she was Michael’s only family.
Prior to the funeral, his mother’s lawyer, Mr. Bentley, along with his wife, graciously take in Michael, but after the service, Michael is introduced to a Mr. Jerwood.
Mr. Jerwood is solicitor to Sir Stephen Clarendon’s—the man Michael’s father had saved. Jerwood informs Michael that this is now his legal guardian, but Michael wants nothing to do with the man. After all, he is still alive, while Michael’s father is not. But as a minor, Michael has no choice. He is whisked away from the hustle and bustle of London to Sir Stephen’s country castle in the dead of winter, far from everything familiar. Mr. Jerwood accompanies him on his long journey, during which a cold dread fills Michael’s heart.
As they near his new home, Michael spots a woman along the cold and snowy country road. She is soaking wet and pleading for help. No one else sees her but Michael. He beseeches the wagon driver to stop, and after much coaxing, they do, but the woman has vanished.
The huge castle, surrounded by a dark and dangerous moat, adds to Michael’s foreboding. He is presented to his new guardian and his sister Lady Charlotte, who both appear wraithlike and sinister to Michael. Told that his Lord suffers from a nervous condition, Michael is admonished against exciting him.
Out of boredom, Michael investigates the cold, dank manse, his fears escalating. All he wants to do is run away. But where can he go?
One night, he hears sobbing and knocking, and though terrified, he needs to find who is in trouble to help them. The specter of a young boy appears in the large hall mirror, making Michael’s skin crawl, and wondering about his own sanity.
A few days later while walking the barren grounds in freezing temperatures, he sees another apparition . . . this time of a woman, but not just anyone . . . the same woman who cried out for his help on the night of his arrival.
Though Michael’s age or the era of this tale is not disclosed, one’s imagination bypasses those factors by the gripping and horrifying plot.
Written in the first person, The Dead of Winter introduces us to Michael by explaining his need to pen the eerie happenings around him. Like a horror version of The Secret Garden, The Dead of Winter is a supernatural page-turner, guaranteed to send goosebumps crawling across your skin, making this young adult novel a truly riveting read.