“It’s sad and beautiful how a few hours can come to stand for the many others that never were. One looks back and holds up a handful of hours to prove, ‘That was what it was, it was so perfect,’ in spite of what one knows, in spite of all the other days that came before and after.”
Mabel Dagmar, a scholarship student at a prestigious East Coast college, is invited by her blue-blooded roommate, Genevra “Ev” Winslow, to spend an unexpected and swanky summer at the Winslow family’s Vermont estate, Bittersweet. Enthralled by privilege and family scandal, Mabel revels in the luxurious life. But, as expected, when there’s money, there’s dark secrets– and Mabel finds herself neck deep in uncovering what exactly the Winslows have done to preserve their power.
Bittersweet is the kind of novel that screams intrigue and plot disasters waiting to happen. On the surface it’s a dark, thrilling story with a few unexpected twists and turns, but once deeper, it sounds all too familiar.
The mystery plot was sloppily put together– drawn out, unevenly paced– which was unfortunate because I thought that the author had some true talent with words. At times there was a pleasant eloquence to the writing that pulled my interest and made the read go by faster.
I was impressed by the thought behind Bittersweet. It had a dark and mysterious appeal, but a less than appealing narrator that turned the novel more bitter than sweet. Mabel was everything a narrator shouldn’t be. She was boring, whiny, and stereotypical. She had no redeeming qualities nor does she emerge from the novel any more bearable than in the beginning. To me, the narrator makes the story, and “special snowflake” Mabel ruined it.
The novel did have a cinematic feel for the story. Maybe it would do better on screen. Without Mabel.
I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.