On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, blue-blooded Genevra Winslow. Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century; it's the kind of place where swimming boldly is required and the children twirl sparklers across the lawn during cocktail hour. Mabel falls in love with the midnight skinny-dips, the wet dog smell lingering in the air, the moneyed laughter carrying across the still lake, and before she knows it, she has everything she's ever wanted: wealth, friendship, a boyfriend, and, most of all, the sense, for the first time in her life, that she belongs.
But as Mabel becomes an insider, she makes a terrible discovery, which leads to shocking violence and the revelation of the true source of the Winslows' fortune. Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and redefine what is good and what is evil, in the interest of what can be hers.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: May 13th 2014 by Crown
I received an advanced copy of this book from Random House Crown via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date is May 13, 2014.
I really don't know where to start with this story. There were so many characters that I disliked (almost all) yet I kept reading to find out more.
- The descriptive narrative on the scenery surrounding Winloch was just beautiful. I could picture myself taking in the lakeside, enjoying the cottages and spending the day just doing nothing there. The setting for the story was where the strength in the plot came
- The pure amount of dogs - what can I say I love dogs!
- The character of Indo - I loved her eccentricity
- The "bad guys", the played the part well if just a bit predictable
I had two major problems with the story
- It took too long to get to the point of what the secrets were. We knew there were secrets but Mabel was running around chasing something she didn't know until we neared the end. Yes we knew some of the people were creepy but there was a lack of hints along the way to justify Mabel continuing her quest. This made the story too long.
- I simply could not identify with Mabel and in turn did not like her very much. I get that she wanted the feeling of belonging and that she wanted to be part of something. Every female has felt like this at some point in their life. The problem was that she seemed to take it too far. She was obsessed with the Winslow family and in turn a lot of her decisions and actions seemed selfish and annoying. Her actions made one think that she felt she deserved a birthright that was not hers. I really didn't like her.
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