Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Invited” as Want to Read:
The Invited
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Invited

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  17,187 ratings  ·  2,654 reviews
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 . . .

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on
Hardcover, 353 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by Doubleday
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Invited, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Billie Absolutely! Especially if you have people who don't like to be outright scared. It is creepy and unnerving but not outright scary. Perfect to send som…moreAbsolutely! Especially if you have people who don't like to be outright scared. It is creepy and unnerving but not outright scary. Perfect to send some shivers up your spine. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,187 ratings  ·  2,654 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Invited
Mary Beth
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the very beginning of the story, Hattie Breckenridge is hung for being a witch.
Nate and Helen decide that they want to build a house in Vermount. The plot of land that they purchase is haunted. They then learn that Hattie use to live on the land that they purchased a century ago near the Bog. Then things get really interesting. Helen doesn't know it but she ends up building a haunted house from sctatch. Then strange things start happening. It is so eerie.

Helen also finds out about the tragic
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
Husband and wife, Nate and Helen, dream of living a more simple life. In order to achieve this, they decide to uproot from urban-CT and move out to the country.

Using money Helen inherited after her father's recent passing, they make a plan to start over and build a home with their own hands.

Ultimately, they decide on a large plot of land in rural Vermont with a rich and eerie history.

Leaving their cushy lives behind, they move into an old trailer on their new property and commence building the
Nilufer Ozmekik
Five deserved, burning, spooky, creepy, witchy, goosebumps stars!

The reasons I enjoyed so much about this book:
- We meet with Hattie, a real gifted witch, who was just being killed by locals with false accusations. ( She’s still witch but not she is not danger to the community, she just wanted to help for saving children) That prologue gives you creeps, by disturbing your feelings push you turn pages faster!!!

- It starts with the moving of couple, Helen and Nate, recently resigned from teaching
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

Nate and Helen decided to change their lives. They resigned from their teaching jobs and moved to rural Vermont where they began building the home of their dreams. They purchased the forty-four acres of land from a man who was extremely motivated to sell. So happy to have a good deal, in a beautiful setting, they soon learned that their land was once owned by a suspected witch, Hattie Breckenridge. A woman who the town chased down and hung for being a witch. Rumors about the land are al
Middle school teachers, Helen and Nate, living a comfortable, sane life in the city, decide to ditch their jobs, new condo, and city life, after Helen's father dies and has her rethinking what she wants to do with her life. They buy 44 acres in the Vermont woods, with it's very own bog. In line with their new way of life, they are building their house themselves and Helen goes about finding things that are related in some way to Hattie Breckenridge, a rumored witch who lived on that property a c ...more
Michael David
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I recently had the pleasure of reading Jennifer McMahon’s upcoming supernatural thriller, The Drowning Kind (to be published in 2021), and decided to read one of her earlier ones. The Invited does not disappoint.

Helen and Nate decide to leave their busy lives behind and have a much simpler experience. They buy 40 acres of land in a rural area of Vermont and start working on building their dream house.

Helen is charmed by older houses with history, but since they haven’t found one they loved, she
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tucker by: megs_bookrack
This book is nothing short of astounding.

If you've been following me for a while (or even for a week or two), then you know that I love horror. I love reading every single word and letting it sink in. I love the heart pounding, fear I get when I read scary books. Of course, if you know me in real life, you know that I am a big scaredy cat. I hate dark places, tight spaces and scary situations. So why, would I like horror books? Mostly because I can control the situation. When I'm reading, I kno
Holly  B
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A couple decide to buy some land in Vermont that local legend has deemed "haunted". They get a "discount".

Nate asks his wife, Helen what would make her "happy".  She tells him that she dreams of a country life, away from the demands of the city.  She wants land, a garden, chickens, goats, reminiscent of her childhood reading of the Little House on the Prairie.

Nate and Helen buy the land and begin building the home of their dreams. They are building it themselves and adding some pieces of loc
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Let’s start off by addressing the giant pink elephant which will make this book be a failure for many. As the blurb says, the story here is about a young couple who “abandon the comforts of suburbia and their teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams.” What it doesn’t tell you is these two are liter
Diane S ☔
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: lor-2019
One doesn't always need to move into a house that is haunted, sometimes even building new the land itself could be taunted. This is what happens in the Vermont woods, when Helen and Nate leave their jobs, taking Helen's inheritance, to build a new house. What they didn't know was that this spot was the place of an horrific injustice, and a lost treasure. It soon become clear that they are not alone, and that someone wants something from the m.

I love how this author puts her stories together, out
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this multi-layered, multi-generational ghost story and mystery, steeped in tragedy.

Jennifer McMahon is masterful ghost storyteller - she has gone back to her roots with The Invitation with a straight up ghost story that will scare your socks off. I haven’t been this spooked by a book since reading Simone St. James’ The Broken Girls which had a similar gothic, haunting vibe. And I so appreciated the nod to history geeks such as myself here.

I have long been a fan of this autho
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

Anyone that knows me well at all knows I absolutely A-D-O-R-E Jennifer McMahon. She writes some of the creepiest and most chilling books I have ever read. Unfortunately, while I still really enjoyed The Invited, it was not my absolute favorite from her.

What it's about: Helen and Nate have decided to leave their teaching jobs and move from the suburbs of Connecticut to forty-four acres in Hartsboro, Vermont. Using money she received after her dad died, Helen and Nate decide to build a
Theresa Alan
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a well-done work of paranormal fiction. I’m not usually a big fan of the paranormal, but it works well here because the story is grounded in history and science since Helen is a history teacher and her husband, Nate, is a science teacher. After Helen receives a large inheritance, they give up their teaching jobs and buy property in the woods of Vermont, even though the realtor tells them the land is alleged to be haunted.

At first, neither of them believes it, but when weird things begin
No scary horror here, but we do have one fine creep factor!

After receiving an inheritance, Helen and Nate leave the city...and their comfortable teaching jobs to self-build the home of their dreams....but many strange spirited obstacles arise.

Unknowingly, the 44 acres they purchased in a small Vermont village near a bog turns out to have a dark and violent history....and the townspeople make it known they aren't too happy with the presence of outsiders even before Helen decides to dig deep int

Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, mystery

I'm a huge fan of a good ghost story, but man, this didn't work for me at all.

The best way I can describe this book is an easy read with a light mystery to it. That's it.
I see that some have categorized this as a horror book, even a thriller, and I can assure you- it is neither of those two.

I think that lack of intensity is what made this read flat line for me. The characters are portrayed as not the sharpest tools in the shed (at least that's my read) and as much as I tried, I just couldn't fin
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, buddy-read
Going with 3.5 stars rounded up!

The Invited is a ghost story by Jennifer McMahon. This is the first book that I’ve read by McMahon and I plan on reading more! The writing was pretty good along with being atmospheric.

The Invited starts off with Helen and Nate deciding to go off the grid and live a simpler life. They are both teachers and decide to pick up stakes in Connecticut and head towards Vermont. They find a huge piece of land in Vermont that’s perfect for building their dream home.

Turns ou
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Witchcraft, a wicked creepy town history, things that go bump in the night. Yes please! I loved this book! I didn't know what to expect when I agreed to read this book as a group read with some fellow Traveling Sisters. Whew, let me tell you it was fantastic. I was creeped out right down to my toes. I am not a fan of horror and I have never read a witchcraft, or witch themed book, oh gasp...... yes I know. I could not get enough of this book though.

Helen and Nate decided to pursue their dream of
Sadie Hartmann
Feb 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I always get excited about a new Jennifer McMahon book. I've mentioned before that I became acquainted with her work quite a long time ago when I devoured a few of her earlier novels, namely PROMISE NOT TO TELL and DON'T BREATHE A WORD.
Still, my favorite McMahon is THE WINTER PEOPLE. She's had a few releases after it, THE NIGHT SISTER and BURNTOWN but I didn't get on so well with either of those.
Unfortunately, I'm afraid I had similar issues with this book too--but let's see if I can unpack this
Julie (JuJu)
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ghost Story lovers
Short summary
Beautifully written fictional ghost story filled with intriguing and tragic history.

My thoughts
This story begins with a bang. The back story about Hattie Breckenridge—who died a century ago—is so interesting, it grabbed my attention right away. The book slows down a bit as it comes back to the present, alternating from the POV’s of Helen and Olive. Once things pick up, the book is hard to put down! Every once in a while we get a chapter that goes back in history—to fill in some mi
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: May 19, 1924
It had started when Hattie was a little girl.

She'd had a cloth-bodied doll with a porcelain head called Miss Fentwig. Miss Fentwig told her things - things that Hattie had no way of knowing, things that Hattie didn't really want to hear. She felt it deep down inside her in the way that she'd felt things all her life.

Her gift.

Her curse.

One day, Miss Fentwick told her that Hattie's father would be killed, struck by lightening, and that there was nothing Hattie could do. Hatt
"Some people, they have magic in their veins. You're one of them. You and me both. Can't you feel it?"

And there's a bit of an icy flow in those veins. When you feel a spike of connection with things that go bump in the night......a certain unexplainable tap on the shoulder and a wayward vision from the corner of one's eye.

Helen and Nate are now Vermont transplants from Connecticut where life found them teaching middle school students in a private school. She in history filled with the past. He i
Helen and Nate have a nice, settled life as teachers at a private school in Connecticut. But they also have aspirations for a simpler life. So using their savings and an inheritance, they buy 40+ acres in the tiny village of Hartsboro, Vermont and decide to build their own dream house themselves. Helen, a history teacher, wants a house and land with history--and she gets her wish when she discovers the story of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who apparently lived (and died) on their property over a ...more
Catherine Woodward
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
Now THAT'S the ghost story I've been waiting for!

Haunting, mysterious, and atmospheric! Helen and Nate are married teachers who are fed up with the normalcy of suburbia and feel a calling for a 'simpler' life. Rather than heading to the nearest patch of open farmland, they feel a pull towards the forest and take up residence near a mysterious bog. This is not just any swamp, however; it is the former home to Hattie Breckenridge, an accused witch who was hung for her crimes. As Helen and Nate beg
The Invited is my first read by suspense author Jennifer McMahon, and I'm intrigued to learn more about her after finishing this title.

Helen and Nate have decided to move out of suburban Connecticut and venture to rural Vermont, in order to create their dream home. It'll be a beautiful estate, on over forty acres of land, and they'll begin a farm of their own. A simpler life, and they'll be happy together. However, the couple's happiness is deterred once they find out that the land was prev
Laurie  |  LOHF
I read roughly half of this story before throwing in the towel. I don't do this lightly but I've come to the conclusion that life is far too short to struggle with a book that doesn't mesh with me. It started off on the wrong foot and never improved. I have worked in the construction industry most of my entire working life and found the fact that two teachers building a two story house BY THEMSELVES (oh, with the help of a preteen girl) with their vast knowledge of YouTube videos, Habitat for Hu ...more
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
A husband and wife (both teachers at the same school), decide to give up their lives and move out to middle of nowhere Vermont where they can build their own home and live off the land. When they are visiting land with the realtor, they find out that the lot they like the most is said to be haunted. Naturally, neither of them believe this and decide to go through with the move. A number of strange things happen, but they are otherwise undeterred despite a growing sense that something is going on ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved this ghost story. I thought it was well written and I liked the characters Nate and Helen and Olive. Nate and Helen decided to build a house in Vermont and live in a trailer on the land while they are building. During this time they found out the land is haunted by its former owner, Hattie, who was hung on the property. Helen spends time researching Hattie and her descendants and compiling information. All kinds of "ghostly" things happen and the story is suspenseful. I highly recommend it ...more
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
The Invited by Jennifer McMahon is a horror or supernatural thriller. The story is one that is told through multiple points of views and different times on occasion. The two main voices belong to Helen and Olive but there are occasional chapters with others too.

Readers start with a brief prologue set in 1924 that is about Hattie Breckenridge who at that time was accused of being a witch. This little glimpse ties into the land that Helen and Nate decide to buy when the story begins. Helen and Nat
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-horror
The Invited was a solid 4 stars. The book centers around a married couple, who decide to leave their respective teaching jobs to build a house in rural Vermont. While building their dream home, strange things start to happen around Helen and Nate, and they learn that the location is said to be haunted.
The Invited is a well written, slower paced book that details a horrible family legacy and how it affects those in present day. The characters and story are both well developed and I’d highly reco
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
"You know I love that you want to put things in the house that have history, that tell a story. But do the stories have to be such awful ones? Do they have to center around death and tragedy?"

"Some people move into a haunted house, but you, you want to build a haunted house, Helen."

And, that pretty well sums up the premise of this one: an obsessed woman attempts to summon the spirits of some dead gals by putting morbid fixtures into the home she's helping to build.

I enjoyed McMahon's The Wint
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Twisted Ones
  • Home Before Dark
  • The Sun Down Motel
  • Imaginary Friend
  • Lock Every Door
  • One by One
  • The Whisper Man
  • The Turn of the Key
  • The Return
  • The Shadows
  • The Hollow Places
  • The Family Upstairs
  • The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
  • The Toll
  • The Burning Girls
  • The Other Mrs.
  • Her Daughter's Mother
  • The Birthday Girl
See similar books…
See top shelves…
I'm the author of nine suspense novels, including Promise Not to Telll, The Winter People, and my newest, The Drowning Kind. I live in central Vermont with my partner and daughter, in an old Victorian that some neighbors call The Addams Family house. ...more

Articles featuring this book

A sinister institute for "extranormal" children. A couple whose dream home attracts unsettling guests. A woman who becomes...
119 likes · 61 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“What people don’t understand, they destroy.” 4 likes
“It's not the gun you should be scared of—it's the crazy man with the gun” 3 likes
More quotes…