The Uninvited by Cat Winters is a haunting and powerful novel of love in unexpected places, of loss, and of moving forward. I was swept to another time and place in this novel that is set during the time period of The Great Influenza of 1918.
Twenty-five year old Ivy has always had the ability to see the ghosts of loved ones. It’s a gift she dreads as these appearances of ghosts are always uninvited and always signal the death of someone to come. With the flu epidemic raging Ivy is struck down but she pulls through. Upon being well enough to get out of bed Ivy is horrified to learn that her father and brother have killed a young German man in town apparently to avenge the death of Ivy’s brother.
Ivy can’t live in the same house with her father and brother anymore so she leaves home. She’s shocked to see how much devastation the flu has caused. Finding lodging with May, a young war widow, Ivy struggles to get her life in order. First on her list is to somehow make amends to the living brother of the one that her brother and father killed. Aside from that she works relentlessly with the Red Cross to transport the sick to the hospital. Ivy is shocked to see the hatred towards the Germans in her community and it seems nobody is safe anymore. Still she finds that she is drawn to the murdered German’s brother and she decides to live life as she wants since there may not be a tomorrow. Unfortunately Ivy begins to see more and more of the uninvited and she’s terrified for those close to her waiting for another to die…but there are secrets being kept. Secrets that have the power to change everything for Ivy.
This story is greatly enriched by all the historical elements. Being a historical fiction fan I really appreciated that side of the story and being a fan of the paranormal that side of the story intrigued me as well. So The Uninvited was a winner for me and the twist at the end had the power to surprise even me who usually has everything figured out. I listed to the audiobook which is narrated by Emily Woo Zeller who does a fantastic job. I really enjoyed listening to her and the effort she put into really bringing out the power and emotion of this tale were great.
Recommended for fans of historical fiction/ghost stories. I loved it, so much so that I already picked up a couple more of the author’s novels. Highly recommended!