Bittersweet is a story about Mabel Dagmar, an unprivileged, plain girl and her college roommate, Generva Winslow, the self-centered, beautiful, wild, privileged girl. Generva or ‘Ev’ as she refers to herself invites Mabel along to her family cottage in Vermont for the summer. On the land Ev’s family has owed for over a century, each family member owes a rundown cottage individually named after plants or trees; Ev’s cottage is called Bittersweet hence the book title. Mabel jumps at the chance to enter the world of this rich, secretive family for the summer, but definitely doesn’t get all that she bargained for. Ev’s outcast Aunt convinces Mabel to go spying on the other family members and searching through piles of old papers in search of a deep dark secret that will expose the family and take them down. Mabel agrees to find this mystery envelope which is said to hold all the answers and in exchange for finding it, the Aunt promises Mabel her cottage. As the story develops, more family twists and turns are revealed and Mabel finds herself in a mess of terrible discoveries.
The synopsis of the book really intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to read it; however, the beginning chapters of this novel have a lot of descriptive narrative, which at times I found difficult to get through. There was so much detail written of the land, the cottages, the lake, etc that my mind was overwhelmed with images and couldn’t focus enough to get a clear picture. I actually skipped over quite a bit to start, but the author seemed to tone down the description as the characters and the story began to develop. I have to admit I was hooked on the story chapter by chapter thereafter waiting to find out what Mabel was going to discover in the Winslow’s dark past. The author did a pretty good job of keeping the suspense throughout the novel though some of the twists were a bit far-fetched. Nevertheless this was an excellent beach read for me as I lounged on the beaches of Maui for 11 days a few weeks ago.
I will give Bittersweet 4 out of 5 stars because of the overuse of description and the lack of character depth. I would still recommend it as a good read if you can read it lightheartedly and not take it too serious. You suspense story lovers out there should enjoy this one as a quick read.
As always, thank you for reading my review. If you happen to pick up this book, please let me know what your thoughts are and if there’s a book out there you think I should read, let me know. 🙂 Until next week! Have a happy weekend and happy Halloween!