The Ingenue

By: Rachel Kapelke-Dale

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC of this book!

Saskia Kreis was a piano prodigy when she was a child. She left for New York when she turned 18, but her decisions thereafter caused her to have a strained relationship with her mother. Then her mother unexpectedly died and Saskia has to go home to the Elf House – a mansion that has been in her family for generations. Expecting to inherit the house as it is supposed to stay within the family, Saskia is shocked when she learns that her mother’s will was giving the house away to a man with which Saskia had a complicated relationship. When Saskia tries to figure out why her mother made this choice, she comes to the realization that the relationship she had with this man was not what she thought it was, and wants to keep her secrets to herself.

This is a beautiful book about the complexities of relationships, the perception of relationships, and how our age and place in life effect those perceptions. Saskia’s realization of what actually happened to her as a teenager was written with such grace. It wasn’t a sudden realization, as it isn’t for most people, but a gradual realization. Then there was the acceptance of that realization, which like most, Saskia struggled with as well. The author used differing time periods in each chapter to highlight the polarity of Saskia’s view as a teenager and as an adult. There was also an err of mystery with the book – what happened to Saskia, what is she going to find, and how is it going to help her save her legacy? The ending was quite a surprise, and not the way that I thought the book was going to end. I would love to speak with the author to ask her if she had an alternative ending in mind, and why she chose this one.

This is a brilliant book. It’ll be out on December 6, 2022. You can pre-order your copy here.