Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Trailer Park Tuesday: Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

The trailer for Miranda Beverly-Whittemore's new gothic novel Bittersweet opens with a view of a Vermont lake.  The camera, static throughout the whole video, is perched on a knoll overlooking the water, at the head of a wooden staircase leading down the hill.  We see what looks like a dock anchored just off shore.  Sunlight dapples part of the lake while dark clouds gather overhead.  A few seconds in, a girl in a white slip moves into view, pauses at the top of the stairs, sees a figure in a canoe paddling toward the dock, then walks down toward the shore.  That's it, that's the whole video--apart from a shot of the book's cover.  It's not really enough to convince me to buy the book.  EXCEPT....Except for the fact the girl is holding a knife in her left hand, absent-mindedly twirling it around with her fingers.  It's a little unsettling and makes me want to learn more about the novel.  So I turn to the book's jacket copy which reveals some, but not all, of the plot:
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.
It's just enough to tease me into buying Bittersweet to find out what happens when that girl with the knife meets up with the person in the canoe.  Critics have been comparing the book to everything from The Great Gatsby to the ABC-TV show Revenge (the first season, when it was still good).  Bittersweet looks like it will be a nice, un-relaxing book to read this summer.


  1. I just finished reading Bittersweet. People Magazine plus Entertainment Weekly both reviewed it the same week so
    that got my interest up. :) It's a hard one to put down once
    you start it...a good summertime read.

  2. I have the book on reserve at the library. Excited to get the copy in my hands.