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The Winters


The Winters

Every year, Senator Max Winter visits Grand Cayman for a bit of fishing. It’s a nice break from his political duties and from Asherley, his Long Island estate. A year and a half ago, his wife Rebekah died, and he’s still mourning her. On his latest trip, though, he meets a young woman who works for the charter boat company, and everything changes. Despite the age gap, he can’t seem to get enough of her. She can barely believe it. How could she, a nobody with nothing special, attract the attentions of the handsome, wealthy senator? To her utter amazement, he asks her to marry him. It’s like a Cinderella story of sorts. In a short time, he whisks her away from her dead-end job to Asherley, an imposing mansion inhabiting its own private island. There, they begin planning their wedding.

From the beginning, the romance is somewhat troubled by Dani, the Winters’ 15-year-old daughter. Burdened by too much privilege and too little discipline, Dani instantly resents the new woman in her father’s life. And she more than makes her feelings clear. Max’s bride-to-be has an uphill battle trying to win over the teenager. Plus, learning how to run Asherley and properly handle its staff is a major undertaking. Still, she floats along in a dream world, wanting to pinch herself to make sure it’s all true. To her great fortune, she finds a friend in Louisa, Max’s sister. Thankfully, because she can certainly use a friend.

"THE WINTERS plays off of REBECCA, but with a darker twist. While Daphne du Maurier’s novel was plenty spooky, Lisa Gabriele’s reimagining takes spooky to a whole new level."

Max popped the question before they barely knew each other, so naturally learning everything about her fiancé is important. Suddenly, she’s living in this big, beautiful house, and she wants to explore. But Asherley hides secrets, and it has forbidden zones. Dani won’t allow her to even step foot onto the third floor. The housekeeper warns her to stay away from the greenhouse. Max keeps it locked. And even suggesting opening up the boathouse raises eyebrows. Why all the mystery? After all, Rebekah died in a car wreck. She’s gone, and Asherley has a new mistress. The soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter should be able to put her mark on it now.

The deeper she digs into the Winters’ past, though, her discoveries lead to more questions than answers. It’s maddening, really, because she doesn’t know who to turn to. Louisa says she’ll help anytime, but she has a busy life of her own. Max is often gone, working on the upcoming election. But he promises he’ll be a better husband than fiancé. Dani runs hot and cold. She warms to the bride-to-be, but then lapses into snarky teenage mode. Max lays it off to overindulging her. And to Dani sorely missing Rebekah.

The new woman can sense Rebekah in everything around her and has doubts about her own place at Asherley. Max swears that he loves her. In fact, he says, Rebekah was a difficult woman. The night she died, well, there were some issues. The more Max explains, the more the story changes. What’s the truth about Rebekah? Was she the super mom everyone intimated, or a self-centered woman who ignored her daughter? After all, Dani is a very troubled girl. How did she get that way?

When you meet Max Winter, you might think that he’s any woman’s dream man. But then he has that nightmare daughter. There’s also that fabulous Asherley. But what about its staff? His fiancé has trouble trusting them. Were they allies of Rebekah, or did they like her at all? Will they sabotage the new Mrs. Winter? Maybe Max should pay more attention to what’s going on at Asherley. And to the women in his life. Things really might spiral out of control.

THE WINTERS plays off of REBECCA, but with a darker twist. While Daphne du Maurier’s novel was plenty spooky, Lisa Gabriele’s reimagining takes spooky to a whole new level. If you’re a true thriller fan, you’ll want to spend this Halloween month checking out what’s happening with the Winters at Asherley.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on October 19, 2018

The Winters
by Lisa Gabriele