One perfect family.
Too many perfect lies.
Small-town girl Mabel Dagmar is out of her depth. At her elite East Coast college, unversed in the nuances of casual privilege, she is ignored, especially by her dormmate, Ev Winslow, whose pedigree disguises a chequered past. Then out of nowhere Ev softens and Mabel finds herself entering the world of the elite, with an invitation to the Winslows’ private estate, Winloch, that very summer.
Days spent swimming in watery coves evaporate into nights at glamorous cocktail parties. And as the formality melts away with one Winslow brother in particular, Mabel is left to think that her summer has all but become a golden dream.
But when Mabel looks a little closer at the Winslows, probing beneath their glossy exterior, what she uncovers in their past is almost as shocking as what she finds out about their present. Beneath the beauty is a rotten core.
And not everyone is quite as they seem…
‘An engrossing summer blast’ MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD, bestselling author of Seating Arrangements
‘Evokes Gone Girl with its exploration of dark secrets and edge-of-your-seat twists’ ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
‘Gripping, beguiling and beautifully written… a page turner that chills as it intoxicates. Miranda Beverly-Whittemore has created a family so dangerously enthralling that the more we learn of their greed and bloodlust, the more we aspire to belong’
KATE CHRISTENSEN, PEN/Faulkner award-winning author of The Great Man and Blue Plate Special
‘Part coming-of-age story, part riveting mystery, Bittersweet is a tantalizing tale of an outsider thrust into a glittering world of immense privilege and suspect morals. With a narrator torn between uncovering one family's dark secrets and protecting her own, Bittersweet brilliantly explores the complicated question of what price any of us would pay to seize the life of our dreams’
KIMBERLY MCCREIGHT, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia
About the author
Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is the author of three novels, including The Effects of Light and Set Me Free, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, for the best book of fiction by an American woman published in 2007. A recipient of the Crazyhorse Fiction Prize, she lives and writes in Brooklyn and Vermont.
The theme of paradise lost courses through this coming-of-age tale tinged with mystery Beverly-Whittemore's solid, if not particularly inspired, third novel, after 2007's Set Me Free. Self-conscious college scholarship student Mabel Dagmar feels as if she has won the golden ticket when her freshman roommate, Genevra "Ev" Winslow, an impossibly glamorous scion of the gilded Winslow clan, invites her to spend the summer at Winloch, the family's sprawling estate in Vermont on Lake Champlain. But she soon starts to discover how wrong she is, as with so very much about the Winslows. For all their lean, blond beauty and their designer names, the Winslows including Birch and Tilde, Ev's parents; and Ev's brother Galway, whose attentions encourage Mabel to fantasize about becoming part of the blue-blooded tribe have more squalid secrets than her own, with theft, rape, and incest the tip of the viceberg. As the increasingly tragic story unfolds, the taste left in the reader's mouth is more likely to be sour than bittersweet.