Mabel is a Plain Jane college student who rooms with the gorgeous Ginevra Winslow. At first, Mabel believes that Ginevra only tolerates her presence, but then she suddenly invites Mabel up to her family’s private estate in Vermont for the summer. Delighted, Mabel wants nothing more than to be accepted by this beautiful group of people, until she starts uncovering dark secrets about the family.
All of the characters are deeply flawed, some of them bordering on unlikable…. Mabel is insecure as an outsider trying to escape her own horrible family life, Ginevra is spoiled and haughty, the Winslow parents are imperious and demanding, and the rest of the family comes across as greedy, and in some cases hopelessly sheltered. But they’re all COMPELLING characters, and I couldn’t help but keep turning the pages.
In my mind, this is the perfect summer novel: suspenseful, beautifully written, glamorous, gossipy, and ominous. The story describes an almost impossibly wealthy family from an outsider’s point of view, and I loved the thrill of “peeking behind the curtain” into the secret life of the Winslow family.
Reviewed by Katie (staff)