There is a popular meme where a guy is walking with his girlfriend and another woman walks past them. He turns to check out the woman’s backside to the dismay of his girlfriend. We have used the meme for all kinds of things, including how readers have always succumbed to new book fever. The girlfriend in the meme represents the books you have been meaning to read on your bookshelves and the woman that walks by them represents a recent book you just read about on social media. Well, I became the latest victim of new book fever thanks to The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni.
The Ancestor tells the story of Alberta “Bert” Monte. Bert receives a letter claiming that she inherits a noble title and castle in Italy. At first, Bert dismisses the letter, but when a representative from the estate comes to meet her in New York and explains the details of the letter, she goes to Italy to find about her inheritance.
When she arrives at the Montebianco Estate in northern Italy, Bert learns the truth of her inheritance and the tragic family secrets that have haunted the family for generations. Bert is considered as the last family member that can save the family’s legacy and its genetic connection to something that puts their humanity into question.
The Ancestor reads like a page-turning thriller that is part science-fiction, part gothic suspense, and part Nora Roberts style of story combined. Trussoni does an excellent job in this first-person narrated story of letting the reader discover along with Bert as she learns more about her family’s unusual genetic history. People know intuitively when they differ from the rest of society, and Trussoni makes you feel that through Bert’s viewpoint in the story.
I was planning to re-read Eva Luna by Isabel Allende before I saw The Ancestor mentioned on social media as a new novel to read for spring. New book fever took over and I’m glad my book lust led me to an excellent story that might show up on many of the end-of-the-year lists as one of the best reads in 2020.