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Bittersweet: A Novel | [Miranda Beverly-Whittemore]

Bittersweet: A Novel

On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, wild, blue-blooded Genevra Winslow. Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century. Before she knows it, she has everything she’s ever wanted: friendship, a boyfriend, access to wealth, and, most of all, for the first time in her life, the sense that she belongs. But as Mabel becomes an insider, a terrible discovery leads to shocking violence....
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Publisher's Summary

Suspenseful and cinematic, Bittersweet exposes the gothic underbelly of an idyllic world of privilege and an outsider’s hunger to belong.

On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, wild, blue-blooded Genevra Winslow. Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century; it’s the kind of place where children twirl sparklers across the lawn during cocktail hour. Mabel falls in love with midnight skinny-dipping, the wet dog smell that lingers near the yachts, and the moneyed laughter that carries across the still lake while fireworks burst overhead. Before she knows it, she has everything she’s ever wanted: friendship, a boyfriend, access to wealth, and, most of all, for the first time in her life, the sense that she belongs.

But as Mabel becomes an insider, a terrible discovery leads to shocking violence and reveals what the Winslows may have done to keep their power intact - and what they might do to anyone who threatens them. Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and make Ev's world her own.

©2014 Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (P)2014 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"Evokes Gone Girl with its exploration of dark secrets and edge-of-your-seat twists." (Entertainment Weekly)

"In the tradition of The Great Gatsby, Miranda 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 best-selling author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (145 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
 (50)
3 star
 (43)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
3.4 (123 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (39)
3 star
 (37)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (8)
Story
3.7 (123 )
5 star
 (38)
4 star
 (40)
3 star
 (24)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    RueRue Orange County, CA 05-17-14
    RueRue Orange County, CA 05-17-14 Member Since 2013

    RueRue

    HELPFUL VOTES
    109
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    124
    119
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Waste of Time"
    What would have made Bittersweet better?

    The story was so implausible. Soap opera quality


    What about Cassandra Campbell’s performance did you like?

    Cassandra Campbell has a lovely voice. Her talent was wasted on this.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry Vital Port Arthur, TX United States 05-22-14
    Sherry Vital Port Arthur, TX United States 05-22-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow to connect with the story and characters."
    What disappointed you about Bittersweet?

    It took a very long time to get to the "mystery". The book was overly descriptive of the opulent lifestyle and very little of the heroine's background.


    Has Bittersweet turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    What didn’t you like about Cassandra Campbell’s performance?

    I had no problem with the performance. At times I was getting bored but it was not due to her performance as much as the material.


    What character would you cut from Bittersweet?

    None


    Any additional comments?

    Overall - it took a lot of effort for me to continue to listen to the book. I am glad I finished it but - it took a lot of time to get to the meat of the story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Eugene, OR, United States 05-27-14
    Leslie Eugene, OR, United States 05-27-14 Member Since 2013

    Love the way the recorded books let me multitask! I can sew or knit, etc. and read a book, too. Really makes the time fly traveling

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    4
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding narrator!"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed everything about this book-could NOT put it down during the last 4-5 hours.
    That being said, what was especially outstanding was Cassandra Campbell's narration. She took an excellent book and made it really superlative with the reading! Perfect summer read. It even takes place at a "camp" by the lake

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    grazibadke LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 05-17-14
    grazibadke LOS ANGELES, CA, United States 05-17-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    74
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    19
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Soap Opera"

    This is not a triller or a page turner. The characters are not likable and the story drags for too long into a soap opera like drama and dialogue. The tone on the narration also doesn't help. they all sound like abnoxious brats or from some 50 shades of grey style novela) I don't get the praise in the media, about to return this one :(

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kritty West Warwick, RI, United States 06-25-14
    Kritty West Warwick, RI, United States 06-25-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Yuck"

    This story was very long and drawn out and really needed someone to condense it. Not really sure why so many good reviews for this book because it took too long to get anywhere and by the time it got there I wasn't interested anymore. Only really why it's getting two stars is because she finally wrapped it up and it wasn't that horrible. Still not sure why we needed to know everything she through in there and the lead wasn't sympathetic and did things you didnt' understand until we got the explaination AT THE END. Don't waste your time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ewreirct Chicago Il 06-26-14
    ewreirct Chicago Il 06-26-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Suspenseful Summer Page Turner"

    An engaging story with many twists and turns, set in bucolic east coast environs. Well read too, with clear distinction between characters voices'. Wish it had been longer!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Malone Mahnomen, MN 09-29-14
    Julie Malone Mahnomen, MN 09-29-14 Member Since 2012

    Pastor Jules

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Good Summer Read"
    Would you try another book from Miranda Beverly-Whittemore and/or Cassandra Campbell?

    Yes. I truly enjoyed Cassandra Campbell's narration!


    Would you be willing to try another book from Miranda Beverly-Whittemore? Why or why not?

    I would if I was looking for a lighter-side mystery and/or soap opera type story. The odds are that I won't be looking for that any time soon as I like my books with more energy and edge-of-my-seat page turning. This one was definitely not that. Not a bad story, just not a lot of energy.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes. After it was in the theater for a while and I could get discount or matinee tickets.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corinne Elliott Memphis, TN 07-31-14
    Corinne Elliott Memphis, TN 07-31-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A waste of time"
    What would have made Bittersweet better?

    The reader read too slowly. Add that to a plot going nowhere.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Patricia Wentworth


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    She over emphasized her words and read them way to slowly. Seriously, who pronounces February as Feb RU Ary.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Bittersweet?

    I listened for 4 and a half hours and then quit. Nothing had happened.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April Zheng United States 07-15-14
    April Zheng United States 07-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good summer read but a little too long"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    At first it was kinda hard to want to keep listening because the beginning was dull and never actually got to the point until around the 5th hour, and I couldnt put it down since then.


    Any additional comments?

    The story was a little cliche I suppose but its definitely a good summer read except that its a little/way too long, there was too much description about pretty much everything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah Burke, VA, United States 07-17-14
    Deborah Burke, VA, United States 07-17-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worst narration ever!"

    I tried three times to listen to this book, but gave up and will read it in print instead. This narrator is so bad , she grates on every last nerve. She reads dialogue like every sentence is a pleading whine, and the last word is ground to a gravelly end or hard long consonant. I can't get into the story because her reading is so distracting.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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