Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Uninvited by Cat Winters

The Uninvited 
by Cat Winters 
343 pages
Published by William Morrow  
August 2015

Book Jacket Summary
Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days.

But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War.

Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold.

My Thoughts
Cat Winters is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. She is showing the world how a historical novel should be written, especially one with such emotional undertones. Although this is listed with YA book it is one meant for adults but it is one that has cross-over appeal for teens who loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds. This book also deals with the ramifications of the Spanish flu epidemic and World War I on a woman and the people around her. However, this books delves more into the hate and bigotry that German Americans faced in small towns. They are killed and it is called patriotic. This is what kicks off the book. 
Ivy leaves her home after recovering from the flu when she finds out that her father and brother have killed a German in town. Her leaving causes her to meet Daniel, the brother of the man her family killed. The guilt she feels makes her want to help him and quickly falls in love with him. This is where the more adult elements kick in. I do think that teens will still like Ivy. Her nativity is well executed with the time period and her homebound ways. She just wants to cut herself off from the pain and emotions that the outside world can cause, also she feels that her staying at home protects the people inside.  
There is much use of poetry in the book, especially Emily Dickinson. It parallels the book perfectly and echos Ivy's own secluded life prior to the flu. I think that Cat Winters does a great job of including it within the book without it seeming out of place as it does in other books I have read. 
I would highly recommend this book and Cat Winters' earlier books. I know I am going out to buy her newest!  

Book Pairings 
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winter
The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni
Bellman & Black: A Ghost Story by Diane Setterfield



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