Bittersweet is the perfect summer read. It sucks you in and won’t release you until you’ve reached the very end. And even then you are left wondering…no more like craving…more, hoping the story doesn’t end here.
I read this novel in a 24 hour time span. It was one of those that you just couldn’t put it down. So many secrets with turns and twists. Murder, mystery, and lies all wait for college student Mabel when she travels home to Bittersweet with her college roommate.
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.
In the beginning of the book we meet Mabel and her college roommate Ev. Their relationship isn’t ideal since the pair are obviously from two different worlds. As the semester continues, Ev’s quirky ways start to intrigue Mabel. When Mabel attends an event with Ev, allowing her a glimpse into the artistic world of rich folk, a whole new door opens for her.
As you turn the pages, reading about the strange friendship between the two girls, secrets and clues start to unfold before your very eyes. Many things you would realize until chapters later.
A magical story with a bit of everything.
Sure to make a great summer read for many.
Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher as part of a review program. I am not being compensated for this post. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are 100% my own!