Winters (Gabriele)

The Winters 
Lisa Gabriele, 2018
Penguin Publishing
320 pp.

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 fiancs 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. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
Birth—ca. 1968
Where—Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Education—B.A., Ryerson University
Awards—Canadian Screen Award-Best Reality Series; Gemini (twice)-Best Reality Series
Currently—lives in Toronto, Ontario

Lisa Gabriele is a Canadian novelist, television producer and journalist. She was the show runner for Dragons' Den (2006-2012). As novelist, Gabriele is the author of Tempting Faith DiNapoli (2002), The Almost Archer Sisters (2008), and The Winters (2018), an update of Daphne DuMaurier's 1938 classic, Rebecca.

In February 2013, it was revealed on The Current that Gabriele is the actual identity of the pseudonym "L. Marie Adeline," author of the erotic novel S.E.C.R.E.T. (2013). Now a trilogy, the two sequels came out in 2013 and 2014. She was also outed as ghost writer for Kevin O'Leary of Shark Tank and Dragons' Den.

Although neither book is under her name, Gabriele is the only Canadian writer who has had #1 bestsellers in both fiction and non-fiction at the same time—S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline and Men, Women and Money by Kevin O'Leary.

Under her own name, Gabriele's essays and fiction have appeared in several anthologies, including Dave Eggers' The Best American Nonrequired Reading; Sex and Sensibility; Don’t You Forget About Me; When I Was a Loser; and 2033: The Future of Misbehavior. Her short story, "How to Be a Groupie," was included in the Norton Anthology of Western Literature.

Gabriele's writing has also appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, Glamour, Salon, Vice, among other publications.

In addition to Dragon's Den, Gabriele has worked as a director and/or producer for CBC for The Week the Women Went and, from 2003-2006, wrote the CBC radio program The Current. She has also produced or directed programs for the History Channel, the Life Network and Slice TV.  As head of development for Proper Television, she worked on Masterchef Canada in 2015 and 2017.

Nominated for four Geminis, Gabriele has won twice. She also won the Screen Award for best Reality TV show in 2013. She lives in Toronto, where she graduated from Ryerson University's school of journalism in 1992. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Retreived 11/14/2018.)

Book Reviews
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.
Daily Mail (UK)

Spellbinding and eerie.… [A] riveting, breaktaking page-turner.
Woman's World

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.”

[C]reepy, 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.
Publishers Weekly

Gabriele skillfully modernizes… [Rebecca]. Fans of du Maurier's book…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. —Liz French
Library Journal

[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.

With [a] close echo of one of the most famous opening lines in literature, Gabriele [opens] … her update of Daphne Du Maurier's 1938 classic, Rebecca.… A harmless parlor game of a book but a little lacking in the skin-crawling suspense department.
Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions
1. The Winters has been described as a modern response to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. Have you read Rebecca? If yes, did that enhance your enjoyment of The Winters? How does The Winters stand on its own as a distinct work?

2. Lisa Gabriele has said that, in The Winters, she sought to examine shifting gender roles and norms since Rebecca’s publication. She has argued that men—in particular, powerful white men—have not changed as much as women have. Do you agree? How does The Winters illustrate this?

3. What role do the disparate settings of Rebecca and The Winters—1930s England and 2010s America—have in shaping the plot? How do the cultural forces at play differ between the books, and how are they the same?

4. The unnamed narrator says there was nothing about her that would suggest she was the type to fall for a man like Max Winter. What do you think she means by this? Do you agree with her?

5. The narrator gleans information about Rebekah’s life and death, as well as about Max and his daughter Dani, from her internet searches. How has the internet made it difficult to keep the past in the past? Do you think this is a good or bad thing?

6. Discuss the moment the narrator lays eyes on Asherley, Max’s estate and her new home. Why is this Cinderella trope—of a lower- or middle-class woman rescued by someone rich—so common in literature? Have you ever had this fantasy?

7. Dani and Max tell differing stories about what happened to Rebekah that night in the greenhouse. What makes Max easier to believe than Dani? In the narrator’s place, who would you believe and why? And, as a reader, how do you think Rebekah died?

8. Discuss the use of water as a symbol in The Winters. Why do you think this symbol recurs and what do you think it represents?

9. Early in the story, Louisa tells the narrator: "I can see what Max sees in you.… He brought you home for a reason." Our narrator believes this reason is love. What do you think?

10. Revisit the opening scene of the book. Has your interpretation of this scene changed now that you’ve finished the novel? Does The Winters have a happy ending?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)

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