Author : Lisa Gabriele
Title : The Winters
Pages : 336
Publisher : Harvill Secker / Random House UK
Publication date : November 15, 2018
After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter – a wealthy senator and recent widower – and to 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.
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.
Last night Rebekah tried to murder me again.
If that opening sentence doesn’t draw you in, little else will. Heavily inspired by Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, The Winters does an excellent job of being an exciting psychological suspense novel all on its own. So if you never read the classic, don’t fret!
The Cayman Islands. A slice of paradise on earth. But for our nameless main character, for her name is never revealed, it is anything but. Struggling to make ends meet, she seems doomed to live in poverty. Until she meets Max Winter, a wealthy senator, who sweeps her off her feet. After a whirlwind romance, Max takes his new fiancé home to Asherley, to his secluded mansion and to a life his fiancé has never known.
There is a dark cloud hanging over this secluded spot though. It comes in the shape of Max’s first wife, Rebekah. Memories of Rebekah are seeped into the mansion’s walls and haunt our nameless character, feeding her insecurities and imagination. And Max’s teenage daughter, Dani, isn’t exactly welcoming her new stepmother with open arms either.
The new Mrs Winter will soon discover Asherley holds a multitude of secrets. Who can she trust? Is her life in danger? Is she merely imagining things or are there far more sinister things ahead?
As a reimagining of a classic, this works really well. But like I said at the start, if you’ve never read the original, that isn’t a problem. Plenty of things have been changed, like the setting and the characters but The Winters is just as tense and atmospheric. I found the build-up a bit on the slow side, although it did give me a fantastic insight into the kind of person the new Mrs Winter is. Her background story makes it easy to sympathise with some of her decisions.
As to what exactly is going on at Asherley, I didn’t have a clue. The minute I thought I had it figured out, something would happen that made me doubt my theory. As the suspense grew and the threatening vibe increased, I found myself utterly engrossed. With plenty of twists and turns, this is a thoroughly enjoyable psychological thriller that completely drew me in.
The Winter is available now!