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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"A stylish, highly original and completely addictive take on du Maurier's Rebecca. Read it!" —Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

“Dark and richly atmospheric. . . A bewitching novel about love, lies, and the ghosts that never quite leave us alone.” –Bustle 

Some secrets never stay buried

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 modern day retelling of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and while paying homage to the original classic, also puts its own unique spin on it. The pace was a little slow in the beginning but it didn’t take long for things to pick up. More psychological suspense than thriller, I think this will appeal to many fans of the genre.

The Winters is an intriguing novel, however it was not for me. I struggled to get into the novel and dnf'd about 25% of the way into it

Thank you, FirsttoRead, for my complimentary review copy. Although touted as a modern re-telling of Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel, Rebecca, this was entirely new for me. I have neither read the original nor have I seen any of the film adaptations. Told from the perspective of the main protagonist, who remains nameless throughout the novel. She is a rags-to-riches young woman swept off her feet by the older, affluent and charismatic Max Winter. Whisked away from her life in the Grand Cayman Islands, she literally becomes a fish out of water when she finds herself at the luxurious Asherley estate in The Hamptons. Although her previous life, working as a boat tour operator and living in shared accommodations, was hardly ideal, it was home. Beyond the expected changed dynamics of a new relationship, the soon-to-be Mrs. Winter has other challenges to contend with. The presence of the inimitable Rebekah, the first Mrs. Winter, is everywhere. The change in routine, loss of autonomy, and staff at her beck and call...only add to her alienation. Last, but not least, Dani, Max’s teen daughter, is less than welcoming. As she slowly finds her footing in her new home and tries to win over the temperamental Dani, our protagonist finds that all that glitters is not gold. There are secrets and layers that, when revealed and peeled away, will shake her to the core. I enjoyed this book enough that I’m tempted now to read the inspiration, Rebecca. The fact that the protagonist/narrator is never named is curious, but fits the storyline. The descriptions are vivid and characters well-developed. I loved that the plot twists and turns so much I couldn’t predict what would happen next.

Holy Bananas this book. If you are a fan of mystery and gothic writing than this book is for you. There are times that I thought my family was dysfunctional but the family inside this book is another ball game. If you love secrets and old mansions and intriuge than pick this book up.

If you're a fan of the book Rebecca or enjoy reading books that have gothic elements to it, then I think you'll find this book interesting. Overall, I think the author did a good job creating a modern version of this classic with the mix of suspense, romance, and some twists.

Talk about dysfunctional family - holy heck are there some serious issues and baggage and secrets within the Winters family! And what a fun ride it was to watch them all unravel! (Gosh that sounds so mean, but it's fiction right.. no guilt here!) I really enjoyed this crazy suspenseful novel, and just actually found out AFTER I read this, that it's inspired by duMauriers Rebecca. Which I haven't read. Sigh.... I can't believe I still haven't read that classic tale, but THIS has made me move it up to the front of the list! It starts with an intense and fast paced romance in the Cayman Islands. And within weeks, there is a proposal, and a move to a cold snowy Long Island, and a mansion full of secrets. Max seems to be perfect, although much older, and heartbreakingly widowed - he charms her, he's wealthy, and he adores his daughter Dani, no matter what issues she harbors from the sudden death of her beautiful and perfect mother Rebekah. The scenery is so new, she's never had money, or luxury or family really, and she tries to settle into becoming this new person, and a stepmother to a teenager who seems to want to make her life hell. As she steadily grows more and more in love with Max, her fear of Dani grows just as much, and slowly secrets begin to spill and skeletons emerge from every closet in the mansion. I was SO entertained by this story and I loved the twists and turns it took, relishing every shock and secret. With every turn of the page it becomes more and more obvious that someone is telling lies and you have no idea who to trust. A fun exciting read, surprisingly addictive with every turn of the page, and a really satisfying ending!

I really enjoyed this book. Twisty enough to keep me in suspense, but still a light read.

I was really hoping to get to read this book however life got in the way and I ran out of time. Thank you First To Read for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of The Winters by Lisa Gabriele.

I really liked this read. The story drew me in from beginning to end. Plenty of drama, suspense and romance. A good read.

For the most part, this is a highly enjoyable book. Equal parts romance, thriller, and suspense, though falls short by having small sparks of each, but never going fully in on any one of these. The story we’re following is of a young woman (we never get her name, which becomes more and more annoying as it’s specifically mentioned several times throughout that she is either happy or irritated when people pronounce it correctly or incorrectly) who meets a widower in the Cayman islands while working for a tourist boat company. They have a very quick romance – so quick that it never really feels believable. Their relationship is very one-dimensional and a lot of the plot relies on the believability of their relationship. This lack of chemistry between the two characters (Max Winter and our unnamed protagonist) weakens the book. Max spirits her away to be married and the new head of his extravagant home – Asherley – on Long Island, and to be a stepmother to his teenage daughter, Dani. Dani is the spitting image of her deceased mother, and behaves toward our protagonist as we would expect a teenager to receive a new mother less than two years after her passing. Though, unchecked, Dani begins to go above and beyond normal rebellious behavior, and soon becomes someone to be feared. The protagonist (am also annoyed by having to write ‘protagonist’ rather than a character’s name; it was a weird and bad choice by author and editor to move forward with an unnamed character) gets closer and closer to Max, thinks she’s making strides with Dani, but time and again finds herself on the receiving end of cruel jokes. As these pranks unfold, Dani becomes more unstable, Max becomes more exasperated, the protagonist begins to learn more and more about the secrets Asherley keeps, the truth behind the death of the first Mrs. Winter, and whether or not she’ll meet the same fate. To get the thriller elements, Gabriele gives us a lot of unsettling moments, creates a truly scary character in Dani, and keeps us asking questions nearly throughout. She uses a lot of misdirection, and red herrings to try to turn the reader’s attention away from putting the pieces together. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work well enough, and before the protagonist figures it all out, most readers will have already deduced the final twist. This leaves around 30 pages of the book where readers will be left waiting for her to catch up. In the end, there’s not much to be surprised by, and some ill-advised elements (the protagonist’s lack of name, the random addition of a grandmother in Cuba the protagonist doesn’t mention until the very end of the book) weaken what could be a chilling story about family secrets. Dani is the best written character in the book, and definitely moves the story along in ways the protagonist just can’t when she’s not even given a name, is very loosely fleshed out, and finds herself embroiled in this family soap opera because of a foundation-less romance.

Good easy read! It kept my attention, and kept me guessing on how it would end. Enjoyed the story, and characters.

Although I was excited to read this reimagining of the classic novel, Rebecca, I am sad to report that I had problems with the majority of the plot devices in the book. I felt that I knew a lot of the major twists and reveals long before they happened and the protagonist was often too gullible and naive to be believable. That being said, it was an enjoyable read but I didn’t find it to be more than an average one.

I enjoyed this one. Highly recommend it to anyone wanting a good weekend winter read!

I enjoyed The Winters as Lisa Gabriele does a beautiful job developing and creating her characters. It's so easy to get drawn into the voice of the protagonist, and that makes this book an easy read. The story follows a young woman who meets, and after a whirlwind romance moves across the world to marry, an older man. Drawn into a whole new and demanding world, the protagonist tries to figure out how she fits in and how her new life will work. I anticipated that I would be reading a typical murder mystery sort of story, but I found that the traditional elements of this genre don't really appear until the final few chapters. Far from being disappointed by this, I was glad that the rest of the story was allowed to develop. The result of this development is that the relationship between the romantic interest, Max, and the protagonist develops and jumps into new and exciting places. I appreciated the depth in this part of the writing, and I found this to be endlessly intriguing. Lisa Gabriele carefully explores power dynamics, wealth, and parenting without ever straying into a heavy-handed territory. Again, this was a very readable book. While I wouldn't say it kept me on the edge of my seat, and the murder mystery element is a bit predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading this book. Overall, I would recommend this book to a friend who was looking for a light and quick read. A perfect book for fall when all I want is to curl up by a fireplace or under a warm blanket and read something entertaining. I received my copy of The Winters for free in return for my honest review.

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. Wow! Dani is a horrible teen. But is she? Do we believe the stories she tells about her dad not loving her and him being the bad person? Or is she such a great actress that you just want to slap her? There is a room that is a shrine to Rebekah that Dani doesn't want the new Mrs. Winters to be in. Then there is the greenhouse that Max doesn't want anyone in. Does he miss and grieve for his wife that much? There are so many questions and yes they are all answered by the end of the book. I gave this 4 stars.

Great read! Highly recommend this one!

I have always wanted to read "Rebecca," and after reading this one, I will definitely be reading it soon! This book has a great pace to it, and I definitely wanted to know what happened next!

I really enjoyed this book! I was immediately drawn into the story which made for a quick read. There are plenty of moments when reading that made you question who can and cannot be trusted at the Asherley estate. Thanks to Penguin First Reads for the ARC!

"Rebecca" has long been on my to-read list, and after reading this novel, it has climbed to the top of the list. "The Winters" is a great read. It's swiftly paced and is a whirlwind of a story. I found it very enjoyable.

I was drawn into the book by the first chapter. However, I had this nagging question throughout most of the book - why would Max fall in love with this unnamed protagonist? I really didn't get the two of them as a couple, and not just because of the age difference. Despite my reservations about the couple, the book really piqued my interest when weird things started happening once the future Mrs. Winter arrived in New York, specifically at Asherly, the Winter family estate. From the creepy vibes of some of the workers, to the areas in the house where she was not allowed, I was really getting the bad feeling that something wasn't quite right with this family. Maybe it's because I never read "Rebecca" but I really had no idea where the story was going to take me. Once I got to about the last 50 pages or so, the story just felt like it picked up, became a whirlwind, and I was pleased with the payoff. My initial question of why Max "fell in love" with the unnamed protagonist was answered and most of the loose ends were tied up with a nice bow. I enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend to a friend who is looking to read a thriller. Thanks to Penguin's First Read for this ARC!

This was a really compelling book. Rebekah falls in love with Max and moves into his home that is still inhabited by the spirit of his first wife and by his daughter. Strange things begin to occur and Rebekah has to figure out what is going on while trying to keep her sanity. This book seemed like a gothic thriller and was definitely something I would recommend to others. Thanks for the ARC, First to Read.

Thanks to Penguin's First to Read for a digital ARC of this book. I should start by fully disclosing that I love Rebecca . I mean, I really love it. In fact, I love du Maurier in genreal and find that she's immensely undervalued in the academic world, partly because her novels often focus on woman-centric Gothic and domestic noir and partly because the initial faulty label of being a "romance" writer has stuck through the decades. At any rate, I teach several of her novels and find them to be entertaining and thought-provoking. So I approached this book with trepidation. I'm happy to say I enjoyed The Winters quite a bit. Of course it doesn't feel the same as the original and if I had to compare them, I would probably be more resistant to the new novel. But . . . this IS a re-visioning of the original and it's a fun one. I liked that the characters were given a more (arguably) contemporary interpretation. Max is not ultimately romanticized in the same way as the original and our unnamed narrator is more honest about her agenda (especially at the end). Having said that, I did miss the psychological imbalance that was done so well in the original. In addition, changing Mrs. Danvers to a 15-year-old "Dani" lost much of her menace. I sort of get it: after reading Baby Teeth recently I am reminded of the fear a monstrous child can inspire. But Dani lacked bite for me here. I also missed the more haunted atmosphere of the original. Bottom line: if you're a die-hard du Maurier fan, you'll find things that aren't as satisfying as you'd like them to be. On the other hand, if you don't know Rebecca , you'll probably enjoy this. But my best advice is to go into this one with an open mind and just have fun with it.

This is a re-telling of REBECCA and it is so good! Max, a Real Rich Guy, goes to the Cayman Islands, where he does rich man stuff and meets a young woman who works for a marina. She toils and struggles to make ends meet until one day Max walks in and needs to rent a boat. Of course this “Cinderella” has met the man of her dreams, amIright? Poor Max has lost his wife, Rebekah (get it?) in a horrible car crash. They spend a month in the Caymens while she is “working” on the boat with Max “renting” the boat out every day and eventually they fall in love. He decides to take her back to his huge mansion in NY, where he lives with his bratty teenaged daughter. Now all the drama ensues because no rich folks like it when Cinderella shows up and the book races to the finish. I finished this in one day because it was just so good. I am putting this one the recommends list for sure. Thanks to First to Read for the ARC!

Excellent. Set in America, this is a modern-day retelling of Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca. Fans of the original will be impressed with how Lisa Gabriele has kept many of the aspects of the original story but reimagined something new, unique, and wonderful Bravo!

The retelling genre is very big right now from Shakespeare plays to Jane Austen novels. Now it has been years/decades since I read the original Rebecca but I thought this was a great retelling. The Winters is so contemporary yet is so very classic in its style. I would recommend that anyone who likes not just mystery/suspense but fiction in general read this one. It is a novel with hope and a good girl power kind of book as well.

I could not get into this one, try as I might. I found it slow and inconsistent.

I finished THE WINTERS yesterday and I loved it! I've never read the classic "Rebecca" nor watched its movie adaptation by Hitchcock, so I have nothing to compare to. But I'm fine with that. THE WINTER is absolutely fun to read. The plot is opened by introducing characters to readers, followed by the development of a romantic relationship between the narrator and Max Winter. That part is a bit slow. Then our narrator moved to Max's mansion on a secluded island. That's when the plot is starting to get interesting. All suspense is leading up to a bizarre ending. Overall THE WINTERS is highly ENTERTAINING! 5 stars out of 5 Thanks to @vikingbooks and @penguinrandomhouse for providing me with an advance copy of #TheWinters

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele started off a bit slow but a few chapters in I found that I was hooked and wanted to see what came next. Fast paced storyline, full of twists, deceit and an unexpected ending. An interesting read by an author I wasn't previously familiar with! Thank you First to Read.

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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