Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
(Crown, 2014, 400 pages)
Mabel Dagmar has never really felt like she belonged some place. After a shaky childhood, she decided to move across the country and go to college on the east coast. For most of her first year, her roommate Ev Winslow ignored her and continued to smoke in their room despite Mabel’s asthma protests. But after a family tragedy strikes the Winslow family, Ev start to befriend Mabel and invite her to stay at her family’s estate for the summer. As happy as Mabel is to finally feel as if she belongs somewhere, she is immediately pulled into the Winslow mystery and discovers family secrets that have kept the Winslow name intact. The more Mabel discovers, the less safe she feels around the family she so badly wanted to be a part of.
This is another family drama that was a little dark and sickly. The Winslows do not give off a good vibe when they start to arrive that summer and things only get creepy the longer Mabel stays. I liked Mabel’s character but it was sad to see just how much she’ll put up with so she can feel like part of a family, even a crazy family like this one. There were multiple times I just wanted to tell her to get out of there and to forget the whole thing. This was a good read to have in-between some stranger titles and I enjoyed Mabel’s character, even if I didn’t agree with all her decisions.