The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

The Winters

Lisa Gabriele

A young woman returns to the opulent, secluded Long Island mansion of her new fiancé. She realizes the house is steeped in memory of his beautiful first wife and she is slowly drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets.

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“From the brilliant first line to the shattering conclusion, The Winters will draw you in and leave you breathless. . . . A must read.” —Liv Constantine, author of The Last Mrs. Parrish

Inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, a spellbindingly suspenseful novel set in the moneyed world of the Hamptons, about secrets that refuse to remain buried and consequences that can’t be escaped

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded Long Island mansion of her new fiancé 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.

Advance Galley Reviews

The Winters is a page turner that you will enjoy till the very last page.

I'm on the fence about this one. I really enjoyed the ending and parts of the beginning and middle, but some were just so slow. When I read the description I thought it would be a creepy read, but 100 pgs in and I was like well... maybe this is just about the woman learning to fit in and be a stepmother. Then slowly VERY slowly, things start happening. I have found out what kind of person I am though, I need to know character names, not knowing the name of the person telling the story felt so off. It made it hard for me to take notes and connect with her. I do love Dani, she is mostly a typical teenager but does have some fire in her. Wish we knew a little bit about Max and his thought process, I understand the main goal, but what made him that way and what happened to him? Overall, 3.25 stars, a good read but wouldn't make it a priority.

I had high hopes for THE WINTERS by Lisa Gabriele, and it did not disappoint. I was captivated from the very first page and would have read the entire story in one sitting if real life hadn’t interfered. The book is about a hard-working young woman (unnamed main character) who is whisked away from a dull existence in the Cayman Islands to a life of luxury in the Hamptons by a wealthy widower (Max Winter). Max lives at Asherley, an opulent, secluded estate, with his 15-year-old daughter (Dani). The main character has difficulty adjusting to life at Asherley because she feels as if Dani is trying to undermine her. She also feels as if she is living in the shadow of Max’s deceased wife (Rebekah). If the plotline sounds familiar, it is because THE WINTERS is a modern-day version of Daphne du Maurier’s classic. There are enough differences in this story though to keep a reader wondering what will happen next. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the story slowly builds up to some major plot twists. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and Asherley, and I liked how social media was incorporated throughout the story (e.g., the main character secretly lurks Dani’s Instagram account and Googles old pictures of Rebekah online.) The only part about the book I didn’t like was one tiny detail in the ending, which was completely unnecessary to wrap up the story. Once again, another book spends an enormous amount of time building up a strong female character only to make the end of her tale a tired cliché. It’s as if there is a requirement that a female character’s life can’t be complete until this certain event happens (even if she has a lot of other things going for her.) It’s very disappointing and way too common in fiction. Disclaimer: I received an advanced reading copy in exchange for an unbiased review through the First to Read program. All opinions are my own.

DNF @ 180 pages. I'm just not able to connect to the story or the characters. The beginning started out really strong, the narrator's voice was pure and clear with that sort of mournful tension you can hear from the MC in the the movie adaptation. But after that it all changed. The early start of the book was at the beach which, for me, just lost the appeal of that eerie, forlorn quality that I wanted from this retelling. Eventually moving the plot to snowy NY happened too slowly to hold my interest. While this book was slow to move along, as I would also say is true of the original book and the movie, somehow this one didn't hold the same tension and suspense as the other two.

I find it interesting that we never learn our main character's (MC) name, just a woman who fell in love with Max, a very rich man, who takes their relationship to the next level by proposing. They head off back to his home, the Asherley Estate in NY where he lives with his 15-year-old daughter, Dani. Our MC has a lot to compete with in the ghost of Max's deceased wife, Rebekah. For Rebekah is the one who has entirely redone the house, her ghost is everywhere our MC looks. She's Dani's beloved mother, there is an entire room with pictures of her everywhere. It seems that Dani still isn't ready to let her go to make room for our heroine. Max has occasional outbursts, moments of rage and most often, they are directed at Dani. For Dani is sullen, she has mood swings, she seems to really get along with our MC at certain times, and then completely switches her attitude during others. She's not a reliable character in our story because of this. But what if Dani has moments where truth slips into the conversation? Perhaps there is more to the story that Max is leaving out? But this guy has been amazing, aside from the outbursts, so what exactly is going on at the Asherley Estate? This was a super fun read for me. Something always felt just a tad off, and when I thought I had things figured out, I never quite did, so it made for great suspense. I've not read Gabriele before this book but if her other books are similar in writing fashion, she definitely has a new fan.

The Winters, by Lisa Gabriele, is a modernized retelling of Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca. If you’ve read Rebecca, the story follows the original in many ways where a young orphaned woman falls in love with an older widower, marries him and moves into his isolated family estate - but in contemporary times and with a daughter in place of the lady’s maid. This story doesn’t have the same elegance to it as Rebecca does, where the original nameless narrator seemed isolated, naïve and constantly surrounded by shadowy characters. It also doesn’t do the same justice to the settings in which the story takes place. Thankfully, in addition to adding a daughter to the story, Gabriele does change things up a bit, so if you’re expecting the story to unfold the exact same way, there are surprises in store. All in all, this isn’t a bad novel, it just can’t quite live up to the original story for me.

I really enjoyed this book! It was very atmospheric...the descriptions of the settings really made you feel like you were there. It was a very fast read, and there were certain times I had a hard time putting it down. The plot was well placed, and there were plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. All in all, it was a pretty good read! I would definitely recommend this book to someone looking for a solid thriller. Thanks for the opportunity to read it!

I really enjoyed this book. Its creepy, you know something isn't right, but can't figure out exactly what is going on or who is bad. None of the main characters are particularly likeable. This book held my interest and I read it pretty quickly. Overall a good thriller.

I wouldn't say there is anything significantly wrong with this book. I guess my main issue is it didn't feel like it was something new and different. Supposedly this is a modern day re-telling of Rebecca. I haven't read the book but enjoyed the Alfred Hitchcock movie when I saw it years ago. There have been so many adaptations or re-tellings throughout the years that this one just blends in with the rest of them and doesn't stand out. I wish this could have been more than just an average read. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.


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