Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blogging for Books- Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Posted by Heather at Sunday, June 22, 2014

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, chronicles the summer adventures and discoveries of self-proclaimed bookish, moon-faced, Mabel Dagmar. The summer in question takes place at the home of her wealthy, elitish college roommate, Genevra "Ev" Winslow's Vermont family estate, Winloch. Mabel comes from humble means and upon her arrival at Winloch, she is thrust into the rich life of yachts, summer cottages and seemingly idyllic family picnics on the lawn.

However,  the longer Mabel stays at Winloch, the deeper she delves into the murky Winslow family history and the true meaning behind the "ties that bind." Eventually, Mabel makes several horrible discoveries about the Winslow family's past that leads to a horrific act of violence. In the end, she must choose to expose the family secrets, or keep silent in the hopes of becoming a Winslow- and all the trappings that come along with the name- herself.

In my opinion, this novel was long on family history and genealogical lineage but short on character development. Parts of the novel- especially the part where Mabel first meets Ev's brother- even teeter on the brink of being gratuitous, rather than descriptive and enveloping. The cast of characters- past and present- is lengthy. Names start to blur and run together.

Written in first person, the main heroine of the book- if she can be described as such- is written by Mabel, in her first person voice. Out of the whole cast of characters, her persona is developed and described the best. Her murky background, coupled with an end-of-novel self realization results in a dichotomous, almost-Sybil -like personality (comparing beginning to end).

While the book was intriguing in premise- underprivileged Mabel sends a summer amongst the wealth and opulence of old money and makes a damning discovery- the end result is sickening and disappointing. Syntax and flow are engaging. Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, can easily be completed on a beach trip, or long flight.

Author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore hails from Vermont and that is evident in the landscape of her novel. Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is an accomplished author of three novels, The Effects of Light, Set me Free and Bittersweet.
***Disclaimer- "I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."***


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