Jennifer Wardrip's Reviews > The Uninvited

The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones
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's review
Jun 20, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: trt-posted-reviews

Reviewed by Lynn Crow for

When New Yorker Mimi drives all the way up into the Canadian wilderness to find the little house her artist father once used as a studio, she's just looking to spend some time alone - and away from an affair with a professor that has taken a nasty turn.

The last thing she expects is to find someone already occupying the house. Jay, a young musician struggling to find his muse, is more connected to Mimi than she first realizes. And so is the shy young man who watches them in secret from the river.

As Mimi and Jay divide up the house, the idyllic setting in the countryside is disrupted by a series of intrusions that become more and more destructive and apparently hostile. Why would anyone want to disturb them? How can they be stopped? And just how many secrets lie hidden in that long-abandoned house?

THE UNINVITED is a tense mystery broken by occasional bits of peace and beauty. The three narrators become more and more sympathetic as the reader gets to know them, and all of the supporting characters are well-developed and full of personality as well. Some of the best scenes are when Mimi, Jay, and Jay's girlfriend, Iris, are just hanging out, getting to know one another. But the gripping, suspenseful scenes are equally well done.

Wynne-Jones does a masterful job of letting certain moments stand as they are, without pushing them into melodrama, like the subtly creepy chapter end when Mimi discovers someone's filmed her on her own camera. Readers will enjoy fitting the pieces together as they learn about each of the characters, but the most important questions will keep them eagerly turning pages right until the end. They may find it a little confusing that Jay's narrative is nearly completely dropped part of the way through the book, and the brief sections in italics don't seem to completely integrate into the story, but those are minor quibbles.

Highly recommended to all fans of mystery and suspense.

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message 1: by Marta (new) - added it

Marta Acosta I love the idea of an isolated setting and some unknown and malicious intruder. This sounds a little like a Ruth Rendell novel and I really want to read it.

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