Author: Rachel Kapelke-Dale
Published by: St. Martin's Press on Dec. 6, 2022
Source: St. Martin's Press
Book Rating: 8/10
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, 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.
Dark, dramatic, and disturbing!
The Ingenue is a gritty, suspenseful tale that takes you into the life of Saskia Kreis, a thirty-seven-year-old former piano prodigy who, after returning home after her mother’s death to find she’s been disinherited and that her mother has left her multi-million dollar mansion to an old family friend, decides to open up old wounds and discover just how inappropriate her teenage relationship was with this man and just how many others he may have also targeted.
The prose is taut and tight. The characters are vulnerable, consumed, and tormented. And the plot does a exceptional job of building tension and unease as it subtly intertwines and unravels an intricate tale of lies, secrets, abuse, control, manipulation, expectations, revenge, and redemption.
Overall, The Ingenue is an unsettling, compelling psychological thriller by Kapelke-Dale that delves into all the deep, dark secrets people keep even from those closest to them and raises the question of how well do you really know anyone.
This book is available now.
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Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.