The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

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The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An elegant reworking of Rebecca which has turned into a cracking good read. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: November 2018
Publisher: Harvill Secker
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1787301191

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She was twenty six: old enough to wonder if she was doing the right thing but still young enough to be swept off her feet by Senator Max Winter who was wealthy and a recent widower. Within a month she'd moved to his home - the Asherley estate just off Long Island. She was used to the Cayman Islands, where she'd been an employee in a boat hire business, but it wasn't just the different climate that made her feel the chill at Asherley. The house is flooded with memories of Max's beautiful wife, Rebekah - and Max's daughter, Dani, was obviously prepared to make everyone's life a living hell.

You've almost certainly made the connection. This is a reworking of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and when I started reading I did wonder if there was going to be much fun in it: I read Rebecca so many times in my late teens that I could recite passages of it by heart. More than half a century has passed though and it was worth the risk of disappointment. I needn't have worried though - the only problem here was my reluctance to put the book down for any length of time until I'd finished it.

The memorable tropes are there: the estate by the sea, the unnamed narrator, the whirlwind romance and the husband/fiancé who is rather distant once he has secured the narrator's affections. Mrs Danvers is unrepeatable: she's one of the great characters of English literature but Lisa Gabriele gives us Dani, instead. Max's daughter is superb: you would dread your own child knowing her. She's worldly wise far beyond her years, foul mouthed and resorts all too easily to drink and drugs. It's easy to disregard what she says about Rebecca, about her father and his lack of love for her: it's obvious that Max goes out of his way to do all that he can for her. In fact, it almost seems that he loves Dani more than his new fiancé. And is the new fiancé going to be inclined to stay at Asherley: over the months we've seen her mature and grow in confidence. Why should she put up with this?

The plot is superb: even if you've read Rebecca as many times as I have you're still going to be glued to the pages until you find out what happens. Does it follow the original plot? Well, I'm not going to tell you, but the ending is deeply satisfying and very, very clever. It's a cracking good read and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If The Winters appeals then you'll probably also enjoy Believe Me by J P Delaney which is also a reworking, but of the author's own work.

Buy The Winters by Lisa Gabriele at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Winters by Lisa Gabriele at

Buy The Winters by Lisa Gabriele at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Winters by Lisa Gabriele at


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