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The Winters: A Novel Paperback – January 7, 2020
"An American Duchess" by Caroline Fyffe
A woman’s heart dares to defy the rules of Victorian society in USA Today bestselling author Caroline Fyffe’s novel of romance, royalty, and a little revenge. | Learn more
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From the Publisher
“A bewitching novel about love, lies, and the ghosts that never quite leave us alone, The Winters is a masterful retelling of an old favorite that has enough surprises to keep readers hooked, even if they think they know how it all ends.”
“[A] suspenseful, dark tale of love, deception, and grief . . . from the minute you crack open The Winters until you reach its riveting conclusion, you'll be spellbound.”
“[A] haunting reimagining of Daphne Du Maurier’s original thriller, Rebecca . . . This retelling. . . retains the allure and gothic tone of the original, while remaining a page-turner for newcomers to the story.”
“Spellbinding and eerie. . . . a riveting, breaktaking page-turner.”
“[A] creepy, atmospheric homage to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca . . . Gabriele keeps the tension high up to the surprising and satisfying final twist. Du Maurier fans will be pleased.”
“Gabriele torques and knots Daphne du Maurier’s gothic tale Rebecca into modern, compelling, readable domestic suspense. . . Fans of du Maurier’s book or the 1940 Hitchcock film will admire how Gabriele plays with the elements, but anyone who appreciates solid, twisty, 'whom can I trust' narratives and female empowerment stories can enjoy.”
“It’s as beautifully written as it is (re)plotted and the updating of the characters is superb. Fabulous—and not just for Rebecca fans.”
“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
“From the brilliant first line to the shattering conclusion, The Winters will draw you in and leave you breathless. Gorgeous prose, well-drawn characters, and a spellbinding story make this a must read.”
—Liv Constantine, author of The Last Mrs. Parrish
“The Winters echoes the classic Rebecca but is a beautifully crafted, haunting thriller of its own that defies expectations at every turn. I read straight through, breathless to the killer final pages. A brilliant achievement.”
—Sarah Pinborough, New York Times bestselling author of Cross Her Heart and Behind Her Eyes
“A slow tease that builds to a surprising and satisfying climax.”
—Joy Fielding, bestselling author of The Bad Daughter
“A sharp and wickedly vivid novel—Lisa Gabriele spins a tight, gasping mystery from the confines of a picturesque home. As a result, The Winters is both a gripping thriller and an acute story of female resilience.”
—Danya Kukafka, bestselling author of Girl in Snow
“The Winters is a clever, tense, atmospheric story that kept me gripped throughout. I couldn’t put it down!”
—Jo Jakeman, author of Sticks and Stones
“Jaw-dropping page turner and artful homage, The Winters is the rare thriller that’s as smart as it is sexy—Lisa Gabriele’s forte. The unnamed main character will break your heart and send your spirit soaring. I loved this book.”
—Katrina Onstad, author of Everybody Has Everything
“The Winters is the most spellbinding book I’ve read this year! And certainly the most elegantly written. I loved it. What an exceptional, feminist piece of work.”
—Ingrid Alexander, author of The New Girl
About the Author
- Item Weight : 8.8 ounces
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0525559728
- ISBN-13 : 978-0525559726
- Product Dimensions : 5.45 x 0.66 x 8.23 inches
- Publisher : Penguin Books; Reprint Edition (January 7, 2020)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #987,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I rarely give one-star reviews, after all an author should be rewarded for at least putting in the effort of writing a book. This book, however, takes forever to get through the backstory to any of the preposterous action that follows. Adoption plays a key role in this book, so it might have been nice if the author had done more research regarding adoption-related laws. Of course, one could argue that this is fiction so nothing really needs to be grounded in reality. True, and that is what makes bad fiction and a waste of money. Belief really needs to be suspended here. I had to skip through everything from the very beginning of the story when our nameless young lady captivates Max's sister to the
not very unsuspected ending. If you think this is a must read, check it out of your local library
A young girl works at a boat rental shop on the island where she grew up in what would be an idyllic setting if not for her beastly boss and her mourning of her recently departed father. She meets a dreamy customer who takes notice of her, something she is not accustomed to. This customer is a wealthy man from New York who has come to enjoy some solitude. He is a recent widow and has a challenging teenage daughter who he can indulge but can’t seem to manage.
An unexpected romance blossoms between the two and the soon-to-be next Mrs. Winters finds herself about to embark on a very different new life, far from the Caymans, which includes not only the man who has swept her off her feet, but her soon-to-be stepdaughter who is not welcoming in the least. In a big, old house steeped in history, a husband who has work to tend to, and a spoiled teenager who has her mind set on wreaking havoc, what is a fiancée to do?
A young woman, whose name I never learn, lives a simple life in the Cayman Islands until she meets Senator Max Winter. After a whirlwind courtship, they become engaged and fly to a massive estate on Max’s private island near Long Island. Trouble in Paradise takes the form of 15-year-old Dani, Max’s daughter by his late wife, the beautiful Rebekah.
Is Dani friend or foe, “she” wonders. Will Dani, who is pathologically close to her father, spoil the wedding plans? Why is “she’ not allowed in the odd greenhouse, Rebekah’s special place? “She” is isolated in a sometimes creepy house within gates she can’t open.
This is a delicious old-fashioned mystery, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Lisa Gabriel’s writing is superb. It is easy to picture the big stone house, and the characters are fully developed. Kudos, Lisa Gabriele!
Top reviews from other countries
Like Lisa Gabriele I loved ‘Rebecca’ and du Maurier’s other works as well as those Gothic romances of writers such as Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart. Their plots inevitably have a plain, unsophisticated young woman finding herself caught up a romance with a sophisticated, mysterious (and usually wealthy) man harbouring a dark secret. While not a genre I have continued reading that often in recent years to discover one paying homage to ‘Rebecca’ was a must read.
Gabriele relocates the main setting from Cornwall to the New York Hamptons and changes Mrs. Danvers, the sinister housekeeper of the original, to Dani, the spoiled and antagonistic 15-year old daughter of Max and the first Mrs. Winter, Rebekah. It’s a very clever transformation allowing new challenges for the unnamed narrator to overcome.
I totally enjoyed it from the start. I felt it honoured the original novel while giving a modern perspective on its themes. I began reading this morning and have just zoomed through. Twists, turns and thrills galore.
I feel it will have a wide appeal. It is certainly not necessary to have read ‘Rebecca’ to appreciate ‘The Winters’ though for those unfamiliar with du Maurier it may serve as incentive to seek out her writings.
An easy 5 stars and I have purchased my own Kindle edition as well.
The tale follows an un-named young female, who is working in the Caymans when she meets an older, very wealthy man, Max Winter, who she ends up having a whirlwind romance with. Very quickly, he proposes to her and then whisks her back to his mansion, Asherley. The mansion is on his own private island, with staff to look after their needs, so if it wasn't for his difficult teenage daughter, Dani, everything would be lovely. But, are things what they truly seem?
As our un-named heroine begins her new life, she finds herself 'haunted' by Max's first wife, Rebekah, who died in a tragic car accident. She seems to be the superior to her replacement; in looks, confidence, perhaps even in Max's true affections. Although she is no longer physically there, she still survives in Asherley's grounds and spectacular rooms.
So, why did I struggle with this book? I think, I struggled to find the true depth here. I began to find our un-named heroine slightly irritating, repetitive and incredibly naïve. After accepting Max's offer after little more than a month of knowing him, she wonders why she then finds it so hard to acclimatise to her new life, and is surprised when the doubts begin to draw in. There also seemed to be little in terms of plot detail that led up to the climax of the book; I kept turning the pages, thinking that the tension would start to build, or some kind of intrigue at least, but I found myself repeatedly disappointed. In a way, very little happens in this novel before we get to the ending; and it is an ending that I would guess won't please some people.
So, if asked if I would recommend this to someone else, I would be unsure. In fact, the way that I described it to a work friend recently was that it passed some time, that's it.
How wrong I was! This is how seriously impressed I am - I think Lisa Gabriele's retelling might actually be better than the original! Shock horror! The nameless narrator in Du Maurier's book is primarily why I love the story so much, because I can identify with such crippling shyness and lack of confidence, and I wondered how such a nonentity could ever be successfully dragged into the modern day, but once again, I was wrong. Still nameless, but now of Cuban heritage, Lisa Gabriele has crafted a narrator with slightly more independence that her predecessor, but the overpowering need to be loved, to be safe remains, only for different reasons: 'Imagine having the courage to talk back to people you don’t like, who don’t like you, or better yet, not reacting at all, simply shrugging it off and moving on with your day'.
“Born on a boat, lives on an island, now an orphan, working for a witch. You’re a Grimms’ fairy tale set in the Caribbean," Max Winter summarises his new fiancee's life. They meet in the Cayman Islands, where the narrator works for an Aussie businesswoman who runs a boat rental service for tourists. Max Winter, a state senator from Long Island, is still in mourning for his glamorous wife Rebekah, who died in a car crash near their home, Asherley, two years ago. He meets the narrator and falls in love with her, wining and dining her on the island until she is forced to choose between her livelihood and her love for Max. He proposes and takes her home to his own island in East Hampton, where his magnificent gated property waits - and so does Max's daughter, Dani.
The twists and turns in this version of Du Maurier's classic both took me by surprise and improved on the original for me, so I won't say any more. BUT - for modern readers who hate that Max apparently gets away with murder in Rebecca, and his new wife supports him, there is a satisfying turn of events. Dani was the real delight for me, however. Obviously she is the updated Mrs Danvers, coming between Max and his new wife with memories of his beautiful lost love, but she has the stronger claim - she is Max's teenage daughter, lately bereaved of her beloved mother, and not just the housekeeper who could easily be dismissed. She is catty, vindictive and unbalanced, living in her mother's old bedroom and wearing her clothes. When she seems to soften and allow her stepmother into her life, there is always the suspicion that she cannot be trusted. And when she claimed the kitten that the second Mrs W saves from imminent dispatch with an axe, my heart was constantly in my mouth that she was going to hurt the poor thing (I can't stand animal cruelty as a shorthand for psychopathy). I was relying too much on my knowledge of the original novel, however.
There are some worthy references to Rebecca, especially the dress scene, which almost tips over into Jane Eyre territory (not one of my favourite novels). My favourite moment, when the narrator forgets that she is Mrs [De] Winter now is missing, but her internal fantasies are just as strong: “I’m telling you, a little drama just played itself out on your face. I saw it. What were you thinking?” Max asks. I love that spilling over of daydream into reality, when her face journey betrays her thoughts!
I can't really say more about the plot, but READ READ READ! Even the familiar opening chapter, with the narrator in exile, is not what you think. I'm going to buy the paperback version with the roses on the cover, just so I can return to this amazing retelling in the future. Rebecca has been replaced once again!
I cannot imagine those in charge of Maurier's estate would have allowed this. Inspired by means you've read the original and you've written a similarly themed book based on the idea of the original, breathing new life into it. For instance most domestic noir is based around the films Gaslight and Psycho and the book's Rebecca and Jayne Eyre. But the story, plot, themes, and characters (including their names) are the author's own. This book copies the names, descriptive writing style, plot, story, themes, and then only twisting the narrators passive voice into a stronger one for the modern era and including her own ending. Had Gabriele written the middle 270 pages in her own voice using her own ideas it would still have been inspired by, but would not have been a plagiarised version of Rebecca.
I would like to read more from this author, but hope it is not "inspired by" anything because I find it a cheap trick - cheating - to steal other authors work and call it your own when it's obvious you're capable of imagining and creating your own original work of fiction. It's just lazy writing. And as an author myself, I really dislike slugging my guts out inventing my own stories and struggling to word my own plot, and creating my own characters and places which I describe in my own voice when a known author comes along and copies a popular book that was written 8o years ago and gets accolades from famous authors who've also struggled to write their own novel.