Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Uninvited by Cat Winters

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Cat Winters's latest, The Uninvited.

The war is on, Spanish Flu has begun to make its rounds, and the town of Buchanan has not been spared. Ivy Rowan only recently recovered from her own bout of flu when her father and brother murdered a German store owner in town. And so Ivy fled her home, seeking a room for rent in Buchanan proper. 

At first, it is an improvement. She finds solace with a war widow who opens her home to Ivy. She also begins driving an ambulance for the Red Cross. But Ivy feels guilty about her family's actions and seeks forgiveness from the dead man's brother. Which places her right in the sights of the APL - those tasked with finding the unpatriotic among them. And when Ivy sees not one, but two spirits - both in the same day -, she fears they are a harbinger of something awful to come. 

The Uninvited wasn't exactly what I'd expected. I thought it was going to be much more of a ghost story - a ghost story set around WWI and the Spanish Flu epidemic. And while there are ghosts - Ivy and the other women in her family see them before someone dies - the story is actually one about the horrors of war and the breakdown of society.

Neighbors turn on neighbors, spouses turn on one another, and Ivy's father and brother get away with murder simply because their victim immigrated from Germany. Ivy is stalked by one of her brother's old friends, a man who proves his patriotism by enthusiastically joining the APL after his eyesight prevents him from enlisting. As flu ravages their small town, people are more concerned with whether you're singing a lullaby in a foreign language and if you've purchased your Liberty Bonds.

Author Hazel Gaynor called The Uninvited "...atmospheric and intriguing..." and she couldn't have been more spot on! Ivy's ability and her certainty that something horrible is on its way, the tension in Buchanan, and the plague of flu wending its way through the town all create such a dark and ominous tone. But jazz also weaves its way through it all, leaving a bright note of hope and offering a bit of peace for our heroine throughout the tale.

I wholeheartedly agree with Gaynor's sentiment - The Uninvited is most definitely atmospheric and intriguing. It's also an absorbing and addicting read.

Rating: 4/5

(The Uninvited is officially out on shelves August 11.)

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Cat Winters and her work you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr.


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I have read a few books about the Great War and the influenza epidemics and I always find them intriguing. I'm glad you can recommend this so highly!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Unknown said...

Wow! How did I miss this on TLC? Sounds like a great read. So glad you enjoyed it.
@dino0726 from 
FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews