Suspenseful and cinematic, Bittersweet exposes the gothic underbelly of an idyllic world of privilege and an outsider’s hunger to belong.
On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, wild, 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 children twirl sparklers across the lawn during cocktail hour. Mabel falls in love with midnight skinny-dipping, the wet dog smell that lingers near the yachts, and the moneyed laughter that carries across the still lake while fireworks burst overhead. Before she knows it, she has everything she’s ever wanted: friendship, a boyfriend, access to wealth, and, most of all, for the first time in her life, the sense that she belongs.
But as Mabel becomes an insider, a terrible discovery leads to shocking violence and reveals what the Winslows may have done to keep their power intact - and what they might do to anyone who threatens them. Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and make Ev's world her own.
My Take On This Book:
There is certainly plenty of mystery throughout the book with odd happenings and interactions among the characters to keep the pages turning on this nearly 400 page book. Interestingly, not all the mysteries were hashed out at the end of the book, leaving some open questions in my mind.
It is not a book that left secrets open because there is a sequel coming - the epilogue pretty much assured that. It left me feeling slightly unsatisfied. Throughout the book, you spend your time trying to decide who's lying, but there's also the question of whether you care that they're lying, which is almost a bigger issue.
I received a free copy of this book for review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, for my honest unbiased opinion.
I gave it ***
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