Book Review: The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele
My rating: 4 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Publisher: Viking

Inspired by "Rebecca"? Yes, please.

This takes elements of Rebecca as a launch point but really felt enough like its own story to satisfy me. A good thing because as a "reimagined retelling" this would be a miss.

The unnamed narrator begins by recounting a recurring nightmare she has of Rebekah trying to kill her and we're off on the mystery of the dead first wide and all the anxiety of the second wife (which flirted with being too melodramatic by half at points). The Max Winter of this story is revealed slowly enough to sustain interest but never quite enigmatic or charismatic enough to completely sell the narrator's worshipful gaze. The addition of the teenage Winter, Dani, while interesting and adding a somewhat novel thread to the story, ultimately detracted from the denouement, for me. The trajectory just felt thriller-esque and not quite matching in tone to the rest of the story.

Still, I did enjoy this overall and found it to be a page-turner. I'd recommend it if you need a weekend book or have a couple of reading days to burn. I'd happily read another by the author.

Favourite quotes:

"Girls like that, they don't get happy endings. Nope. They end up dead or in jail, leaving everybody to wonder which fate they deserved more."

"Born on a boat, lives on an island, now an orphan, working for a witch. You're a Grimm's fairytale set in the Caribbean."

"This isn't a place where a person lives, I thought, here you reign."

"Yet here he was, leaning casually on the handrail, legs crossed, squinting at me while he openly discussed his business, using terminology that had little to do with money but everything to do with wealth, which my father taught me, were two very different things. One bought you shoes, he said, the other secrecy, which was the most important commodity of all, because that's how rich people stayed that way."

Summary: After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded Long Island mansion of her new fiancΓ© Max Winter—a wealthy politician and recent widower—and a life of luxury she’s never known. But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell. She soon realizes there is no clear place for her in this twisted little family: Max and Dani circle each other like cats, a dynamic that both repels and fascinates her, and he harbors political ambitions with which he will allow no woman—alive or dead—to interfere.

As the soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets—the kind of secrets that could kill her, too. The Winters is a riveting story about what happens when a family’s ghosts resurface and threaten to upend everything.

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