In Bittersweet, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore has created a novel based on the age-old theme of a stranger in paradise. Mabel Dagmar is an ordinary girl from a working class background. Her college roommate, Ev Winslow, invites Mabel to spend the summer on her family’s Vermont estate. It seems like a dream come true. Mabel longs to experience the privileged world of her wealthy roommate almost as much as she wants to escape a summer with her own parents. So, they head to Bittersweet, a cottage on the estate.
Armed with a copy of Milton’s Paradise Lost which she plans to read over the holiday period, Mabel seems set for an idyllic summer. She quickly falls in love with the privileged world of the Winslows but she is an outsider in their paradise. Before long, it seems everyone wants to use Mabel for their own ends.Spurred on by curiosity about her host family, Mabel is drawn into a web of dark intrigue. The secrets she uncovers have devastating consequences.
Overall, I found Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore a good yarn and an enjoyable holiday read.
[Disclosure: An Advance Readers’ Copy (ARC) was provided by the publisher, Random House via Edelweis/Above the Treeline for the purpose of this review.]