This was not what I was really expecting when I started this book. It was so sad in a lot of ways. One believes that their family is messed up and then they hear about people like this. It can be hard to start college and live in a dorm. Getting to know your roommate is very difficult when you are each such different people. What happens to these two roommates (Mabel and Ev) is such a great story that will make you laugh and cry. Even in the end it is hard to dislike either girl or feel sorry for either. It is a fascinating story and helps you love your own family more. I received a copy of this book from Blogging for books for a fair and honest opinion.
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. I write novels. My third, New York Times bestseller Bittersweet, is set at the home on Lake Champlain where I spent my summers as a little girl. But that’s where the resemblance to life ends – the place, renamed Winloch in the book – is inhabited by a family of deliciously bad people. I wrote Bittersweet for people like me, who love The Secret History and The Emperor’s Children; it’s a literary beach read.
My first two novels were published in 2005 and 2007. My next novel, June, will be out in 2016.
Based in some part on my own experience being photographed by two fine arts photographers, Jock Sturges and Mona Kuhn, I started my first novel, The Effects of Light, to answer the question most Americans seemed to ask when I explained this photographic work to them–would I still love it if an innocent died because that work had been made?
My second novel, Set Me Free, was based in part on the time I spent on the Crow reservation in highschool, the legacy of my countercultural parents, and the complications of their generation of liberal do-gooders. The book was also an homage to my theater school-aged days and based on The Tempest.