I was intrigued by the novel after reading one chapter and it kept my interest throughout. You are introduced to Mabel Dagmar and her college roommate Genevra Winslow straight away. An unlikely friendship blossoms between them as they grew up in different worlds – Mabel is attending college on a scholarship and Genevra (Ev as she is referred to throughout) is stinking rich. Their attitudes on everything from clothes, food, rules, studying, etc are polar opposites.
Mabel’s parents own a dry cleaning store in Oregon and scholarship was the only way she would go to college. Ev on the hand never wanted for anything. On her 18th birthday she donates a painting to the university as is custom for her family. Each child donates a masterpiece to a place of their choosing when they turn 18. The older children chose the Metropolitan Museum but Ev donates to the university she is attending. It is at this event Ev and Mabel become friends; they plan a summer together at Ev’s family estate Winloch.
Bittersweet is the name of the cottage Ev inherits on the Winloch estate and also where the young women will spend their summer. It’s a dream come true for Mabel who is dropped in the lap of luxury. Ev, runs off constantly on secret rendezvous with a mystery man. Mabel, besides enjoying playing at being rich and pampered, starts a research project with old journals and the prompting of reward by an older aunt on the estate. She ends up in over her head, realizing this powerful family has secrets they wish to keep. Illegal activities may be behind the family fortune and Mabel may be making enemies as she digs deeper.
There are fancy parties, late-night swims, sailing and sunning. You meet other members of the Winslow family, all blonde blue-eyed and stunning. Some are nice, some are despicable. There is murder, rape, theft and a mystery to solve which isn’t revealed until the end.
This novel is under 400 pages and covers the time span of a single summer. I enjoyed it enough to seek out more by this author.
On Winloch Day they have grilled burgers, football and fun. Everyone dresses in white. While I go out of my way to avoid white (I am messy and I look washed out in white) I don’t go out of my way to avoid a charcoal grilled gourmet burger. This one has mushroom and cheddar. We served with a mozzarella tomato salad with mixed greens and tater tots.
I don’t have to be stinkin’ rich to enjoy sitting on the patio, enjoy the warm weather while I’m eating, watching the birds.
Life is good.