The Ingenue: A Novel

The Ingenue: A Novel by Rachel Kapelle-Dale

Title:  The Ingenue: A Novel
Author:  Rachel Kapelle-Dale
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Genre: Women's Fiction
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages: 313
Date of US Publication:  6 December, 2022
My Rating:  2 Stars

My Thoughts 

What is the life of a child prodigy like? 

This is the story of a near middle aged woman who is trying to figure out who she is after a childhood as a prodigy, the story of the love parents have for their child, the story of things that have been happening for way too long and shouldn’t. Not ever again. 

I was on board for this one right up until the final quarter. That ending?? 

I was invested in this story, I really wanted to know how Saskia was going to move on, I wanted to see what would happen with secondary characters, but then, out of the blue, it’s over. Just like that. I found it so underwhelming and unsatisfying with far too many loose ends. I understand that like in life, an ending won’t always be clear but in a story like this one, a more neatly tied up end is something I find necessary.

Ultimately, the ending ruined this one for me. 

eARC kindly provided by St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley. Opinions shared are my own.


"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.


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