Monday, May 12, 2014

Bittersweet: A Novel

Title:  Bittersweet:  A Novel
Author:   Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Publication Information:  Crown. 2014. 400 pages.
ISBN:  0804138567 / 978-0804138567

Book Source:  I received this book through a publisher's giveaway free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Favorite Quote:  "The truth is a noble grail to seek. But if you're after it, you must imagine, first what it will mean to get it. The truth is neither good nor bad. It is above evil. Above morality. It doesn't offer anything besides itself."

Bittersweet is a place. It is the name of a cottage that is part of a Vermont estate, where the wealthy Winslow family has come together for years. Genevra "Ev" Winslow attends a prestigious college and hopes to make the cottage hers. Mabel Dagmar is Ev's college roommate. She is a scholarship student, and the life that Ev lives is, for Mabel, the stuff of dreams.

Then, the dream becomes reality. Ev invites Mabel to Bittersweet for the summer. A friendship flourishes, and Mabel starts to become part of the Winslow clan. However, the closer she gets, the more secrets she discovers. Secrets about the Winslow family and their relationships. Secrets behind the Winslow fortune. This is the stuff of nightmares not the ideal dreams Mabel has about their lives.

The crux of the book is what secrets does Mabel discover? Does Mabel walk away or stay? Does she expose the secrets or keep them? What choices does she make for her own future?

The plot of this book is not new. A rich family with a dark history. An outsider who enters their midst. The secrets are found out. It's been done before.

The secrets Mabel discovers do take the book in a direction entirely different than what I expected. Without a spoiler, I will say that the secrets extend way beyond what I expected in a book about two college girls set in a quiet Vermont setting. It is a little far-fetched for my taste.

The setting is beautiful. The characters do not resonate with me. The story line seems familiar. Overall, the book an okay summer beach read but not a memorable one.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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