Saturday, December 20, 2014

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Mabel Dagmar is sure someone has made a mistake.  She's a dowdy, scholarship student at her East Coast college, her parents and their dry-cleaning shop thousands of miles away back in Oregon.  Somehow she has ended up with Genevra Winslow for a roommate.  Genevra, or Ev, is gorgeous, smart, popular and very rich.  She knows how to handle any situation and cares not a whit for the rules and regulations of society.  Needless to say, the two girls have nothing in common.

But living together tends to eventually lead to friendships.  After Ev has a situation in which she needs a friend, the two girls become close.  So close that at the end of the year, Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at the Winslow summer enclave; a family tradition that goes back more than a century.  Mabel is entranced and excited; she falls headlong in love with the entire Winslow family and all the tradition and entitlement that huge family wealth seems to bring with it.

But as the summer goes on, Mabel starts to question the pleasant life into which she has landed.  There are family secrets that are kept by everyone to insure that life goes on as it always has.  Family comes first and everything else is a distant second.  When Mabel discovers one of the biggest family secrets of all, she must choose between what she knows is right and what her heart desires.  She discovers that doing the right thing could even expose her own secrets and she must decide what is most important to her in life.

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore has written an intriguing family saga, one that draws the reader into the privileged world of the wealthy.  There is love, sex, intrigue, art, secrets, family relationships, betrayals and the realization that one is never an adult until they put aside the childish view of the world we grow up with.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and those who enjoy family sagas.

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