Review 246. Cat Winters – The uninvited.

19547848Title: The uninvited.
Author: Cat Winters.
Pages: 343.
Published: Published August 11th 2015 by William Morrow.
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: Edelweiss and publisher, thanks!
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.

Cat Winters has been on my favorite list ever since I read In the shadow of blackbirds. She followed up with the fantastic The cure for dreaming and she has settled her place with The uninvited. Every single one of her books have been successful and I absolutely adore her writing and the strong heroines she creates.

The setting takes places in the last days of World War I, in 1918, during the Spanish Flu pandemic. The world is in panic and Ivy has to deal with the fact her father and brother killed a German out of retaliation for her brother’s death in the war with Germany. Shocked, she flees home and is swept away in a world of jazz. She doesn’t know how to deal with her feelings of guilt and decides to visit Daniel. He is a German who has to deal with a lot of prejudice and he suffers from the loss of his brother at the hands of Ivy’s family. The two of them start an unique relation.

I loved the setting. If a book mentions something about a sickness I’m all up for it and Winters has a fantastic use of the Flu pandemic. The whole book has a dark atmosphere because of the wide-spread hysteria. We get to see whole neighbourhoods that fall for the Flu and how little care there is for its victims. Ivy helps out with the transport (and at the end you realize how utterly brilliant this is) and I admired the fact she took that risk.

This brings me to Ivy, who immediately stole my heart. She can’t put up any longer with her brother and abusive father, so she walks away to an uncertain future. She has no place and no money, but her intelligence brings her far and soon she is settled down. Ivy is also able to see The Uninvited ones; ghost from people who herald impending death. The way Winters wrote about this aspect of the story felt so real. It never felt out of place and it made a lot of sense. There was a mental strength to her and I liked being able to see the world through her eyes. It took a lot of courage to visit Daniel, especially because it is dangerous to connect yourself to a German during this time, and I love their dynamic. Daniel is a bitter person after everything he had to endure, but I warmed up to him easily. They bring out the good parts of each other and it’s interesting to see how their relation developed.

The story itself is a quiet one. There are no big climaxes or dramatic situations. It is more about the atmosphere and how Ivy/Daniel try to battle with the hatred against all Germans. History lessons never really touched the subject about how Germans were treated in other parts of the world, so it made an impression on me.

The twisty ending place everything in a new perspective and I must applaud Winters for coming up with such a conclusion. It ties everything together and explains a lot. It was very powerful and it punched me in the face. A book with an ending that leaves you speechless for a few moments is definitely worth it.


  1. I have yet to read Cat Winters but with every review you post for her books, I am more and more sold on her! I MUST fix this asap and read her books! This sounds like my kind of read too, I love the setting, the dark atmosphere, the strong heroine and the big twist at the end there! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this one Mel! :)

    1. I keep pushing her books onto you until you've read one :D

  2. This sounds fascinating, particularly the setting. I've read a lot of WWII set stories, but not during the great war. I think I need to look into this book. :)

  3. YAAAY :D I am so glad that you liked this book a lot Mel. <3 Hugs! I loved it a bit more, hih, but you loved it too, and this makes me so happy. Ivy and Daniel were both aaaamazing :D And oh my gosh, yes. That ending was so heartbreaking. And perfect. And I loved it so much. So shocking. I'm so glad you liked the ending :) I have loved all books by Cat too. And her newest one, The Steep and Thorny Way was PERFECTION :D Did you get it via Netgalley? You really, really should. And read it right away. It was perfect. So, so good. <3 Anyway. Stunning review sweet girl :)

  4. Its great how Winters incorporates a heavy and tense atmosphere in so many of her works...gotta give her a try sometime, because I am ALL for nitty gritty uncomfortable feelings and cool retellings of scary things happening that keep me up at night, haha. Beautiful review, Mel. I missed you!

  5. I've never heard of this book but OH MY GOSH IT SOUNDS AMAZING! Definitely adding this to my wishlist! And I love books with endings that make one go hfljdshlgsdg, so will definitely be reading this! :)

  6. AHHH TWISTY ENDING!??! *signs self up for this immediately* XD hehe. I haven't read anything by this author, but clearly I'm missing out, right?!?

  7. I remember adding Winters' first book to my TBR when it was released, because it looked awesome. I sadly have yet to get around to reading it, but after this stellar review, I think this is one author that i need to check out.

    This story sounds pretty incredible, especially since it weaves so many things into one book. WWI is often left behind in fiction, and I think it's interesting that this book is about the aftermath - from both sides. And if the paranormal element is woven in really well? I am 100% keen for this book. The gorgeous cover is also a huge draw-in!

    Lovely review as always, Mel <3

  8. This one probably isn't for me because I'm not big on historical fiction, but I can definitely see how the flu epidemic would interest you Mel! The relationship between Ivy and Daniel doesn't sound perfect but that makes it all the more realistic. Lovely review Mel!

  9. I bought this one after I have seen the glowing reviews, and I am thrilled to see that you enjoyed it as well!

  10. I keep reading great reviews about this book. It's already in my TBR list... I think I should just buy and read it ;-)


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