The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

From the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of the Angelology series comes a bewitching gothic novel of suspense that plunges readers into a world of dark family secrets, the mysteries of human genetics, and the burden of family inheritance.

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. 

Summary from Goodreads

I thought this book was heading one way, and then when it didn’t, I was not disappointed at all. The direction it headed in, to me, was something new and interesting, and yet at the time, familiar.

Bert was an interesting narrator because she was narrating after the events in the novel, and so sometimes her tone was of someone who was not only looking back from a distance, but also had the time to go through the emotional fallout of the events that happened, to the point where she sometimes sounded almost cold or apathetic. Sometimes the tone was of someone trying to hold in emotion, which is evidence of Trussoni’s talents.

Because the story was told from the POV of someone narrating their past, there was often a sense of foreboding, and the tension climbed and climbed as the novel went on.

I really enjoyed this novel, and would read a Danielle Trussoni novel again.

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