At a Glance
Title: The Ancestor
Author: Danielle Trussoni
Published: April 7, 2020 by William Morrow
Genre: Gothic Mystery
Goodreads Rating: 3.88 out of 5
My Rating: ★★★
“It feels like a fairy tale when Alberta ”Bert” Monte receives a letter addressed to “Countess Alberta Montebianco” at her Hudson Valley, New York, home that claims she’s inherited a noble title, money, and a castle in Italy. While Bert is more than a little skeptical, the mystery of her aristocratic family’s past, and the chance to escape her stressful life for a luxury holiday in Italy, is too good to pass up.
At first, her inheritance seems like a dream come true: a champagne-drenched trip on a private jet to Turin, Italy; lawyers with lists of artwork and jewels bequeathed to Bert; a helicopter ride to an ancestral castle nestled in the Italian Alps below Mont Blanc; a portrait gallery of ancestors Bert never knew existed; and a cellar of expensive vintage wine for Bert to drink.
But her ancestry has a dark side, and Bert soon learns that her family history is particularly complicated. As Bert begins to unravel the Montebianco secrets, she begins to realize her true inheritance lies not in a legacy of ancestral treasures, but in her very genes. ”
This book wasn’t really what I was expecting and I’m not sure if that hurts my review of it or not. I expected a bit more of a thriller mystery and instead I got Gothic Fiction books. I like Gothic fiction, I just was expecting more of a big ‘bang’ moment. This book definitely has a lot of suspense and there are constantly revelations surrounding the plot of the story but they didn’t real like plot twists. This book is also classified as Horror and I really didn’t see the horror aspect. The genre felt like it morphed a lot, I’m not even sure really how to classify it.
I’ve very conflicted on how to review this book. On one hand I enjoyed the gothic nature of the book and thing that Trussoni is a fabulous writer. The premise is unique but at the same time I felt that we would have more to show from the ending and that this could have easily been two separate stories.
The additional ‘twists’ if you could call them that in the book, kept coming, but they were never the ‘big’ answer needed to end the story. Even the last bit of the book just felt incomplete.
Character wise, Albert is unquestioning and pretty much just goes along with what people ask of her. Which seemed highly unrealistic to me. You fly halfway around the world, the same day you found out about an inheritance, but never stop to think maybe you need legal counsel or to think it all over? The relationship dynamic between Bert and her husband too was off for me and don’t even get me started on Lucas arc.
Overall, I think I liked the story. It’s unique, it focuses a lot on how we identify ourselves as humans, how we trace our ancestry, and how we ultimately come to terms with who we are. But there were too many plot points and I really think this would have worked better as a series than a standalone book.
This book is out today! If you like Gothic novels get this one HERE!
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on The Ancestor. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books.
About the Author
Danielle Trussoni is the author of the Angelology series, a New York Times and Internationally bestselling series published in over 32 countries. She is also the author of memoirs The Fortress and Falling Through the Earth, which was selected as one of the Ten Best Books of 2006 by The New York Times Book Review. She writes the Gothic & Horror column for The New York Times Book Review.
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