Today I am excited to share my review of The Winters by Lisa Gabriele as part of the blog tour! As soon as I heard about this book, I knew it was one that I needed to read as it is inspired by one of my all time favourite novels. The Winters is a thriller set in the modern age, which takes inspiration from Daphne Du Maurier’s beloved 1938 classic, Rebecca.
‘Last night Rebekah tried to murder me again.’
The opening sentence of The Winters was one which bears resemblance to the opening line of Rebecca, a first line which offers familiarity but also something a little different. In this we hear the voice of our unnamed narrator, a young woman haunted by disturbing dreams in the wake of her sudden change in circumstances. Whilst working for a boat company on the Cayman Islands, her life heads in a very different direction, as she begins a whirlwind romance with the powerful and wealthy senator Max Winter. And before long, there is talk of marriage, with our protagonist finding herself in very different surroundings of which she struggles to become accustomed. Whisked away to live at Asherley, the grand residence of the Winter family, she tries to settle into her new life, and become acquainted with her new family. But this poses a challenge, in part due to Max’s daughter who is less than approving of their relationship, and also due to his late wife Rebekah, and the way her presence is felt…
From the opening pages I was gripped by this story, and I found this to be an entertaining read which gives a classic novel a modern update. Readers who are familiar with Rebecca will recognise the parallels between these two stories but this is a book that can also be enjoyed by those who may not have read the original, as Lisa Gabriele has added a little twist to a well known tale. The Winters is a family saga in which a web of dark secrets begins to unravel. It explores the narrator’s bond with Mr Winter, and how she longs to make their relationship work, in the face of resistance from troubled teenage daughter Dani, and the sceptical reactions to those who surround them, as their romance advances quickly. But in addition to the fraught family relationships that unfold, there is the presence of Rebekah and the reminders of her that linger throughout Asherley, an estate which holds many secrets and a dark history that threatens to emerge. This added a dark, Gothic feel to the story, with a feeling of suspense as events build up to a dramatic conclusion, in which I was curious to see what twists and turns lay ahead, as the true extent of the Winters’ dark past becomes clear.
The Winters is an enjoyable, compelling psychological thriller in which the reader uncovers a family’s secrets and a past that they would rather remain buried. I don’t think you need to have read Rebecca to enjoy The Winters, but as a fan of Rebecca I did enjoy this fresh take on the story, and the way it pays homage to one of my most loved books.
The Winters was published on 15th November 2018 by Harvill Secker with thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review. You can check out the other stops on the blog tour on the dates and blogs below: