I received this book as part of the Blogging for Books program.
I probably shouldn’t have liked this book as much as I did, as I figure I am not part of the “target audience” for it. But Miranda Beverly-Whittemore writes in such a way that I was captivated pretty much from the first few pages.
Bittersweet is a novel about the lives of a family of excessively wealthy people, the Winslow family. It is also about one not-so-wealthy college girl, Mabel Dagmar, who is the roommate of Genevra Katherine Winslow, most of the time, simply known as Ev. Bittersweet is also the name of the cabin at the Winslow resort property that Ev and Mabel wind up staying at for the summer. It seems that, whenever Ev “came of age,” she would inherit one of these cottages for her own. The family tradition, it seems, was that all Winslow family members would spend the entire summer at this resort, called Winloch, and Ev and May had the daunting task of cleaning up the cottage that would belong to Ev.
During their stay at Winloch, Mabel (sometimes called “May”) learns much about the family history, its politics, its money, and the relationships. The plot twists come frequently, as more is uncovered, perhaps the biggest one being when Mabel learns why she was really there, why she was even selected as Ev’s roommate.
As Mabel learns more and more about the sordid details of this family, she tries to escape, but finds it more difficult than she imagined. She builds alliances with unlikely family members, falls in love with one of the brothers (even that plot line has its own twists and turns), and literally inserts herself into the family.
There is love, betrayal, murder . . . you name it, in Bittersweet. Miranda Beverly-Whittemore has a writing style that is truly gripping. I found myself not wanting to put the book down, because I wanted to see what happened next. I find that I’m anxious to read another one of her novels soon.