Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Mabel is thrilled when her rich and gorgeous college roommate Genevra Winslow invites her to spend the summer at the Winslow compound: a collection of small cottages on Lake Champlain in Vermont. The cottage Genevra inherits, Bittersweet, is a bit of a wreck but the girls work hard to “pass inspection” and make the cottage their own. Mabel dreams of becoming a Winslow herself, she even interlibrary loaned some small press books on the family prior to her vacation so she would know all about this enchanting family. But while Mabel is there she not only experiences how the rich live, she is swept up into the family history and family secrets. Some that may cost her dearly.
What starts out as the typical coming of age novel turns into a dark and gothic suspense story. I thought I figured out one of the secrets, only to find that there were many more layers to the dark things hidden in the family’s past (and present). Where did the family wealth come from? Why are there bolts on exterior and interior cottage doors? Why did Genevra’s cousin commit suicide? All of these questions will be answered with each answer being more disturbing than the last.