- Written By: Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
- Narrated By: Cassandra Campbell
- Published By: Random House Audio May 13, 2014
- Length: 13 hours 38 minutes
- Source: Purchased from Audible
Summary: On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, 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 swimming boldly is required and the children twirl sparklers across the lawn during cocktail hour. Mabel falls in love with the midnight skinny-dips, the wet dog smell lingering in the air, the moneyed laughter carrying across the still lake, and before she knows it, she has everything she’s ever wanted: wealth, friendship, a boyfriend, and, most of all, the sense, for the first time in her life, that she belongs.
But as Mabel becomes an insider, she makes a terrible discovery, which leads to shocking violence and the revelation of the true source of the Winslows’ fortune. Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and redefine what is good and what is evil, in the interest of what can be hers. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts: I’ve always thought that wealth and power look a lot better from a distance than close up. Mabel is instantly attracted to Ev and the ease in which she appears to glide through life. When the opportunity not to return home for the summer is presented Mabel is eager to head to the Winslow family lake compound. The cottage is in disrepair and Ev tells her the two must get it in order or she will lose it, naturally it’s bull, but Mabel completely believes this risk exists.
Mabel is both fascinated and careful as she meets each Winslow family member, powerful patriarch and Ev’s father, her controlling mother and the brothers, aunts, cousins. What the summer brings Mabel didn’t expect, searching through family papers and heirlooms to reveal a secret, what does she find.
There are parts of this book that are predictable, monied powerful families,and others that are dark and surprising. In total is was enjoyable and kept my interest, and it’s worth a read or listen.
Cassandra Campbell does a superb job narrating, as she does most books. I enjoy her work very much.
I read this book in July…an excellent summer read. As the last days of summer are here, you may want to consider this as a weekend book…to hold on to summer, and the journey Mabel book.