by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Reviewer Rating:
4

Review

Here is the problem I have with this novel: the ending is much too neat for all the suspense and horror the narrative creates. I wanted to start with this statement, because it is the only negative comment I have to say about it.

Bittersweet is the name of a cottage on the Winslow family estate. Mabel is invited by her beautiful, wealthy, blond roommate Ev to summer at this estate along with her family, an American dynasty. Being a scholarship student, Mabel is both intrigued and intimidated by the prospect, but eventually agrees to join Ev and her glittering family.

Not surprisingly, Mabel falls in love with the Winslows and the moneyed nature with which they live. What does surprise Mabel, though, is that she seems to be welcomed into this family--a prospect that makes it quite difficult for Mabel to accept the increasingly evident dark underside of this family and its' secret history.

Sweeping and compelling, I found it difficult to put this book down; alternating between engrossing details and inexplicable suicides, with all the rich-family-saga allure of scandalous liaisons and forbidden love, this was truly a page-turner.

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Comments

love the idea of a book about a summer escape to a New England cottage retreat but ended up putting this one down after too many unnecessarily descriptive trysts coupled with too little worthwhile story.

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