by Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Publication Date December 6, 2022
Published by St. Martin's Publishing Group
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Genres: Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense, Fiction / Women
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
Named a Best New Book of December by Buzzfeed · New York Post · PopSugar · PureWow · E! Online · Amazon
"Exceptional. This surprising, exhilarating suspense-filled tale of revenge and redemption is hard to put down." ––Publishers Weekly (starred review)
My Dark Vanessa meets The Queen's Gambit in this new novel of suspense about the bonds of family, the limits of talent, the risks of ambition, and the rewards of revenge.
When former piano prodigy Saskia Kreis returns home to Milwaukee after her mother's unexpected death, she expects to inherit the family estate, the Elf House. But with the discovery that her mother's will bequeathed the Elf House to a man that Saskia shares a complicated history with, she is forced to reexamine her own past––and the romantic relationship that changed the course of her life––for answers. Can she find a way to claim her heritage while keeping her secrets buried, or will the fallout from digging too deep destroy her?
Set against a post #MeToo landscape, Rachel Kapelke-Dale's The Ingenue delves into mother-daughter relationships, the expectations of talent, the stories we tell ourselves, and what happens when the things that once made you special are taken from you. Moving between Saskia's childhood and the present day, this dark, contemporary fairy tale pulses with desire, longing, and uncertainty, as it builds to its spectacular, shocking climax.
The Ingenue by Rachel Kapelke-Dale is an exciting thriller about a young woman who returns home to find out her inheritance was left to her ex-lover.
When Saskia Kreis returns to her childhood home for her mother’s funeral, she doesn’t expect to find out that her inheritance, the Elf House, was left to an ex-boyfriend, Patrick. The historic Elf House has been handed down from generation to generation and Saskia has grown up knowing the house would be hers one day.
Saskia and her father can’t believe her mother would not leave the home to Saskia. Even her father can’t understand her mother’s thinking, and even if she didn’t want to leave it to Saskia, they are both perplexed why she would leave the home to Patrick. With so many unanswered questions, Saskia is determined to find some answers.
I loved this fast-paced story and I could not put this book down until I found out why Saskia’s mother left the house to Patrick.
I like the way the author organized the chapters. It starts with a quick snippet from her mother’s feminist fairy tales and I thought this gave us a look into Saskia’s mother and how she thought. Next was a few paragraphs that took place in Saskia’s past and highlights how she became a pianist and how her parents supported her talent. I thought this gave us more suspense as Saskia’s past has clues to her mother’s motivation and we learn why Saskia abandoned her promising career. Next came the present-day section that details Saskia’s search to find the truth behind her mother’s bequest.
As I read, the suspense got more and more intense, and the ending was one I had to read twice as I couldn’t believe what happened, and it was a very satisfying end.
I highly recommend The Ingenue to anyone who loves suspenseful fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Have you read The Ingenue? Or her previous book, The Ballerinas?
I was invited to read this one and wasn’t sure, I guess I made the wrong decision. Wonderful review, Wendy. I really like the sound of this and with an author and pianist, it sounds beautiful. Off to see if my library has this one.
Now I want to know why the house was left to Patrick too! This sounds like an interesting read.
I’ve fallen in love with this cover, so I was hoping the book would be good. It certainly sounds like it from your review. I need to put it on my list now.
I’m highly curious just from your review alone. 🙂
That sounds like a good puzzle. I wish I had requested it. Because I had not gotten to Ballerinas yet, I hesitated to do it. I’m glad it was a good read for you!
I’m intrigued based on your review. I’ve added this book to my TBR!
This looks good and I love the cover. Your review definitely has me wondering what all is going on and it sounds like one I’d enjoy.
I like suspense, but I’m not sure about this one. I am intrigued by her other book Ballerinas. Did you like that one?
I saw another wonderful review for this one on Tessa’s blog. Glad you enjoyed it just as much, Wendy!
Great review – I’ve seen this book on several blogs and after reading your review, figure I should look for it – it sounds really interesting.
Sounds interesting and intriguing, I’m already curious why her mother would do that. Amazing review!
This does sound good, I like suspense in books, great review 😊
Thank you, Jenny
I’ve been on the fence about reading this one. I didn’t really care for The Ballerinas and forced myself to finish reading it and I wasn’t sure about this one although your review made me want to pick it up! Great review and lovely blog!
I thought it was better than The Ballerinas. But, I also enjoyed The Ballerinas.
I don’t like my fiction to be too suspenseful but this one sounds too good to pass up on. Thanks for the review.
It was very good!
Oh this one sounds crazy good! Excellent review Wendy!🤗📚🎄💜
Yes, a bit crazy and really good! :).
What an intriguing synopsis and review! I’ve been seeing this book everywhere so thanks for sharing your great review of it Wendy.
Thank you, Jodie!
Rachel Kapelke-Dale is such a treasure of a word-smith. So happy we both enjoyed this one so much!
Yes she is! Thank you, Tessa!
I’m so glad you liked this!
Thank you, Rae!
I must admit I don’t read a lot of suspenseful fiction myself but I’m loving the sound of this one. Especially how the chapters are organized. That really intrigues me!
It was refreshing to see the chapters done that way.
This sounds like one I’d enjoy. Great review, Wendy.
Thank you, Cathy!
That’s a beautiful book cover.
it sure is! Thank you, Rosie!