May 29, 2014

Bittersweet


My memory of the many afternoons I spent at Flat Rocks that summer is long and lingering, bound up with the reassuring sense of things always having been the way they were, and the belief that they would always be that way. ~Quote from Bittersweet

Mabel Dagmar is invited by her wealthy college roommate, Ev Winslow, to spend the summer at Bittersweet cottage on her family compound in Vermont. Mabel finally feels wanted, valued, and loved, but after she discovers the ugly truths festering beneath the Winslow’s exquisite exterior, she’s forced to make choices that change her life forever.

Bittersweet is an unsettling, riveting, and mysterious coming-of-age story, chock-full of strained friendships, first loves, family secrets, and scandalous discoveries. I was quickly sucked into the story and became as fascinated with Ev Winslow and her bizarre family as Mabel was.

The author, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, does a superb job of creating a palpable setting. The Bittersweet cottage and its ‘compound’ seem familiar to me, as if I walked the woodland paths, swam in the cove alongside Ev and Mabel, and felt the growing tensions as secrets emerged and locks were installed on Winloch doors.

I’m impressed with the strong character development. Mabel’s poor upbringing and blemished past makes her yearn for something better, and her back-story is effortlessly weaved throughout. Ev is damaged and has remarkable depth, and her family’s history is revealed little by little – enough to keep me intrigued.

I enjoyed the author’s unique style of storytelling. The long sentences were noticeable and a little distracting in the beginning, but as I sunk into the story they quickly and seamlessly blended into the background.

This book contains some strong language and sexual situations.

Cover: Love it
Title: Love it
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Pages: 402
Pace: Steady
First Line(s): Before she loathed me, before she loved me, Genevra Katherine Winslow didn’t know that I existed.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy from the publisher’s Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255