Tuesday, December 11, 2018

THE WINTERS by Lisa Gabriele

Publisher:      Viking
Published:      October 16, 2018
ISBN:      : 978-0525559702
Genre:     Contemporary, Gothic
Format:     Print from Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  myreviewbooks@aol.com



An unnamed woman works at a boat yard in the Caymans.  Her life hasn’t been all that easy, especially with the death of her father.  He’d worked for Laureen, a woman who owned several charter boats in the marina.  When he died, the woman whose story this is, took his place.  Living day to day, sailing, fixing boats, taking our charters, her life is fairly routine.  Then one day Max Winter arrives.  Recently widowed with a teenaged daughter he is in the Caymans seeking some peace.  When he and the narrator meet there is a connection neither can deny.  In short order he asks her to marry him and she agrees.  They return to his home, on Long Island, Asherley, and there begin their life together.

But all is not easy, Dani, Max’s daughter is troubled.  She smokes, drinks, gets high and generally acts out like a spoiled teen.  At first it seems Dani is attacking the narrator, trying to undermine her relationship with Max.  But then the story of Max’s first wife,  Rebekah, begins to come out leaving the narrator with more questions than answers.  Still, she loves and is in love with Max and will do anything to remain by his side…anything.  But after their wedding things begin to spiral out of control leaving the narrator to wonder just who did she marry.

I’m of two minds about Lisa Gabriele’s THE WINTERS.  Based on, or as the blurb says inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s REBECCA, parts read like a revised REBECCA.  Much like Hollywood, rather than create a new story is redoing original movies, classic movies with modern elements, at times I felt the “original” REBECCA” was a better read.  But then, I am a huge du Maurier fan.  I wondered what would be next – MY COUSIN RACHEL?  FRENCHMAN’S CREEK? 

Then again, Gabriele tells an often page turning story.  There were parts that lagged and I wanted to skim, but I won’t skim a review book-I might miss something.  But the white knuckle-keep you up late a night-just one more chapter sections were wonderful.  It was a little weird not having a name for our heroine—interesting device, but how to refer to her? 

There were times I wanted to swat Dani on the behind because she was such a brat.  Not in a bad way, but in a way that leaves you feeling like you are part of the story…that there is a piece of you in the story.

I struggle with what is to me the needless killing of an animal.  I know there are sick people who do that—I don’t need it in my fiction.  I knew what was coming with the kitten was introduced but read on hoping I was wrong.  Warnings need to be put on books that an animal is brutally killed in a book.  At least be warned.

THE WINTERS was a decent read.  I’ll read Gabriele again.  And there were, as I said, page turning sections…many more of them than mundane or skimable. 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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