by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Mabel’s new prep school roommate Ev is everything she’s not. She’s wealthy, beautiful and somehow the two become friends. When she’s invited to spend the entire summer with Ev at her WASPish family’s Vermont estate she is ecstatic. Tucked away in the Winslow family’s cottages Mabel gets a taste for the life of the upper crust, but things take a turn as she begins to realize there might be a darker world bubbling beneath the glossy surface.
Bittersweet is a twisty soap opera of a novel. Some of the shadowy twists are predictable, but it’s the tone of the book that made it a compelling read for me. Our unreliable narrator, Mabel, is both smitten and horrified by aspects of the world she discovers and it’s her loss of innocence that’s fascinating to watch. As she starts to uncover the horrifying family secrets it’s impossible not to wonder which side she’ll end up on in the end.
BOTTOM LINE: It was entertaining and I didn’t want to put it down, that’s exactly what I want from a big, juicy summer read. The dark plot didn’t disappoint and though it’s nothing earth-shattering, it’s a great one to throw in your suitcase to keep you entertained on your next flight.
“Water was a strange substance, like memory - much to push against, but nothing solid to hang on to.”