Miranda Beverly-Whittemore delivers a suspenseful new novel, Bittersweet
One of Entertainment Weekly’s 14 Rising Stars to Watch in 2014
- Imprint: Crown Publishers
- On sale: May 13, 2014
- Price: $25.00
- Pages: 400
- ISBN: 9780804138567
A an atmospheric novel that exposes the gothic underbelly of an American dynasty, examines the passion and betrayal of best friendship, and seethes with an outsider’s hunger to belong.
*NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER*
*NEW YORK POST’S “SUMMER’S HOTTEST FICTION” PICK*
*NEW YORK DAILY NEWS’ “BOOKS OF SUMMER” PICK*
“Beverly-Whittemore is at her best bringing Winloch vividly to life, evoking the look and feel of its cottages and dining hall, and its daily summer rhythms…A fairy tale aspect – of the Grimm, not the Disney variety – pervades the novel, which artfully builds an increasing sense of menace…Like a Downton-in-Vermont, Bittersweet takes swift, implausible plot turns, and its family secrets flow like a bottomless magnum of champagne, but Beverly-Whittemore succeeds in shining a light into the dark, brutal flaws of the human heart.” —New York Times Book Review
“Mesmerizing gothic thriller…Bittersweet is worth savoring—it unfolds like a long summer day, leisurely revealing the dark.” —People
“As a young woman struggles to read Paradise Lost, she faces her own temptation. Is she brave enough to choose good over evil? A page-turner riddled with stubborn clues, a twisty plot and beguiling characters.” —Kirkus, starred review
“Beverly-Whittemore’s novel is suspenseful and intriguing, filled with characters who both fit the blue-blood mold and break the stereotypes we all associate with the upper class. Her short chapters, with their cliff-hanger endings, will keep readers turning pages late into the night.” —Booklist
“The theme of paradise lost courses through this coming-of-age tale tinged with mystery…For all their lean, blonde 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.” —Publishers Weekly
“Beverly-Whittemore captures both the idyllic beauty of a Vermont summer and its dark shadows…gothic tangles wind the plot more and more tightly…A suspenseful tale of corruption and bad behavior among wealthy New Englanders.” —Library Journal
“Evokes Gone Girl with its exploration of dark secrets and edge-of-your-seat twists.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Bittersweet is the kind of book you hope to stumble across on a rainy vacation weekend: a wild New England gothic full of family secrets, mysteriously locked doors, sailboats, suntans, forbidden lust, and a few priceless works of art. An engrossing summer blast.” —Maggie Shipstead, national bestselling author of Seating Arrangements and Astonish Me
“Gripping, beguiling, and beautifully written, Bittersweet is 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
“Beverly-Whittemore prizes up the veneer of an old, privileged American family to discover depths of intrigue, power, and menace beneath. In its guise as a coming-of-age mystery, the book is both swift and arresting; that the novel also doubles as an insightful meditation on class, aspiration, and longing makes the book reverberate in the reader long past its final line.” —Lauren Groff, New York Times bestselling author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia
“In the tradition of The Great Gatsby, Beverly-Whittemore’s heroine is an outsider invited into the secret, labyrinthine world of the super-rich—but the twist is, you never met such debauched people as the Winslows. Bittersweet is a satisfyingly dramatic, super-juicy read.” —Jenna Blum, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers
With literary echoes of Donna Tartt, Kate Morton, and J. Courtney Sullivan, Miranda Beverly-Whittemore brings us BITTERSWEET (Crown; May 13, 2014), a hauntingly suspenseful novel that examines the seduction of money, the battle between right and wrong, and our universal, desperate wish to be a chosen insider.
Ordinary, unassuming Mabel Dagmar wins a scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college and is assigned to live with the beautiful, wild, blue-blooded Genevra (nicknamed Ev) Winslow as a roommate. To Mabel’s surprise, the two become friends, and Ev invites her to spend the summer at Bittersweet, Ev’s family cottage on a lakeside Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century. Usually an outsider, Mabel is thrilled to be invited into the one percent’s Edenic paradise. It’s an idyllic place of yachts, skinny-dipping, and children twirling sparklers across the lawn during cocktail hour. As the summer presses on, Mabel relaxes into the Winslows’ lifestyle and sheds her plain-Jane skin, and before she knows it, she has everything she’s ever wanted: wealth, friendship, a boyfriend, and, most of all, for the first time in her life, the sense that she belongs.
But as Mabel becomes more immersed in the Winslows’ world, she discovers that their glittering façade masks ambiguous morals and dangerous truths, both about personal indiscretions and the sources of the Winslows’ family fortune. Before she knows it, Mabel must choose—either expose the lies and ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or immerse herself in Ev’s family’s darkness, come to terms with her own terrible secret, and become one of them. Beautifully mysterious and richly detailed, BITTERSWEET is a cinematic, page-turning novel that is both an enthralling and a rewarding read.
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 is also the creator of FriendStories.com. She lives and writes in Brooklyn and Vermont. To learn more, please visit here website.