The Winters: A Novel. Lisa Gabriele. Penguin Publishing Group. October 16, 2018. 320 pp. ISBN#: 978052559702.
A young woman living and working in the Cayman Island at a boatyard works very hard until she meets an older man. They boat, eat, drink and eventually fall in love. He offers to take her to his home in America on Long Island, the fancy place he calls home, called Asherley. He’s a Senator who’s thinking of running for a higher place in government. In fact, he’s very, very busy and out of the home more than he’s there. So, this woman meets his daughter, Dani who greatly resents Max’s fiancé because Dani is taking her mother, Rebekah’s place.
Dani is one nasty piece of work. Sweet one minute, Dani can manipulate her father, her Aunt Louise, and even the new gal who is engaged to her father Max. Dani runs around with the family chauffeur/helper, takes off when she pleases, runs away as she did to Paris before Max came home. The fiancée almost leaves once when she can’t stand what is happening. But then things seem to be on the mend after they are planning a wedding.
The young woman is trying to learn the ropes about a home where the ghost of Rebekah lurks in every corner. Now begins the mystery. No spoilers here! This is indeed a take on Daphne Du Maurier’s earlier novel, Rebecca.
Secrets abound about Dani’s background, Rebekah’s death, another woman and money, the latter being the root of what eventually results in disaster. Still Max marries our young heroine, but she also reveals she’s made of tough stuff and is smart enough to figure out when all these clues are slowly revealed in layers.
The first half of the novel is one the reader thinks he or she knows; but one can’t possibly figure out what is to follow. The rest of the plot proceeds at a ripping, tense and furious pace until a very pleasing end.
This is a highly enjoyable romance/thriller novel that is sure to rivet the attention of every reader. The background ghosts are within each character, not external. Mistakes made in the past accelerate to a point where they cannot be undone so enthralled is each player with trying to make things better. Enjoy the romp in contemporary Gothic horror!