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The Ancestor

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  2,507 ratings  ·  623 reviews
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
ebook, 368 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by William Morrow
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Danielle Trussoni Hello Rita! I won't be recording The Ancestor's audio book, unfortunately. My publisher has found a wonderful voice actress however, and I think it is…moreHello Rita! I won't be recording The Ancestor's audio book, unfortunately. My publisher has found a wonderful voice actress however, and I think it is going to be incredible. You'll have to let me know what you think when you hear it.

If you like audio, you will love the audio drama podcast companion to The Ancestor. It is called Crypto-Z and will be available on Apple Podcasts and here:

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Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,507 ratings  ·  623 reviews

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Miranda Reads
2.5 stars

Every family has its secrets but nothing reveals the truth like DNA.
Alberta "Bert" Monte has lived her entire life in the States. She's never truly been poor but at the same time, life is often a struggle for her.

When she gets a notification of a mysterious inheritance...she's understandably confused, and intrigued.

Turns out, she's the only living heir of a noble title, vast fortune and a castle in Italy. A castle!!

At first it seems too good to be true, but the more she re

The thought crossed my mind that I should have been a bit more wary before climbing into a helicopter and flying to God knows where without an escape route.

this. this a thousand times.

i used to read a lot of monsterporn because it was so much fun to review, and one of the things that always struck me was how agreeable the human participants always were, how easily they adapted to the situations in which they found themselves; able to go from zero to "i am having sex with two gar
**2.5-stars rounded up**

When Alberta 'Bert' Monte receives a letter telling her that she is the sole heir to a large fortune, including a gothic castle in Italy, she thinks it must be some sort of hoax.

Upon further investigation however, she discovers it is true. Why her parents would keep such a thing secret from her, she cannot imagine.

Before she knows it, she and her estranged husband, Luca, are being whisked away on a private plane to Turin. There Bert will meet with the attorneys for the Es
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I debated between four and five stars for this book, and I landed on five because it’s so refreshingly original and hard to categorize. I also think the storytelling is brilliant, so five it is.

Alberta “Bert” Monte receives a letter addressed to “Countess Alberta Montebianco.” She lives in New York, and this title comes as quite the surprise.

The kicker? She’s inherited the title, along with a castle in Italy. Bert isn’t fully buying into it, but she is interested in a holiday in Italy.

The trip
Diane S ☔
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How would you feel if you some up one morning knowing who you are, but by afternoon you are no longer that person. That's the scenario Bertie is confronted with when a letter arrives telling her she is the last person left of an ancient bloodline. A Countess, and a wealthy one to boot, with a castle in the Swiss Alps. Soon she is whisked away in a private jet, taken to the castle to meet an aunt by marriage, whom is not in the best of health and quite elderly. What she finds their is beyond beli ...more
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance

Who are our ancestors?
Where do we fit in the family tree, and where do our traits come from?

We have all asked ourselves these questions at some point or another and would be happy to find just a few answers along those lines. In Danielle Trussoni's THE ANCESTOR, the main character wasn't really in search of these answers, but her ancestors tracked her down and presented her with the gift of the past. Her own family legacy.

We all want to believe that we come from hearty, healthy, and s
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, gothic
I received this book for free free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

Wow. This was one of the most fascinating novels I have read in a long time.

First off, I love that the book description does not give away too much. You get to discover the truth about Bert’s family on your own.

It’s really hard to describe this book because it is so unique and I don’t want to spoil anything. There’s some gothic suspense, but also some family tragedy. Then und
Caidyn (he/him/his)
CW: miscarriages, struggles with infertility, physical deformity and ableism around that, rape, mentions of stillbirths, pregnancy from rape, and death/violence

Oh boy.

I thought that this book would be a spooky, ghost-y read about a woman going to the Italian Alps where she finds out things about her ancestors. Kind of like Rebecca or The Haunting of Hill House.

What I got was not that. I was interested in it until about 60%. Then it all started falling apart because it went in a direction that I
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Listen to me, child. I saw it. The beast came for me on the mountain pass like a ghost with its white hair and devilish blue eyes. Its teeth were sharp as razors. But worst of all, it was so like us. Monstrous and yet so human. The legends were true.

… inheritance is a trickster. One generation may hide its genetic treasures, while the next will put them fully on display.

Leopold had described the village as a seed pressed into a rocky furrow, and it seemed exactly that: a furtive
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(4.5) Thank you for the gifted review copy Danielle Trussoni and William Morrow, in exchange for an honest review!

I feel like we get a little bit of everything in THE ANCESTOR! There's some mystery, hints of romance, and, oh yeah - creepy old ladies living remotely in a castle, with a dash of evolution! Sounds weird, but oh my god was it amazing! I actually learned quite a bit about genealogy and homo sapiens, and all that pre-human life jazz. It was really cool exploring Bert's family history,
Laurie  |  LOHF
The Ancestor is a book about family secrets, yes! my favorite, that takes some wild and unexpected turns. Just when you think it’s going to be one thing (a straight-up gothic tale perhaps?) it turns out to be something else entirely and I LOVED that. I enjoyed the foray into the strange and unexpected and that it bravely went the last place I would’ve expected it to go!

Alberta “Bert” is separated from her husband Luca when the story begins. She’s grieving the loss of her relationship and several
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I won this as a goodreads giveaway. Thank you William Morrow for the book.

This book was brilliant. And if you love cryptozoology, like I do, get it now.

This story was full of twists and turns that made it even more compelling. Try and finish in one sitting.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, own
Ouch. My forehead still hurts after face palms I've done while reading this book. It is said to be a horror novel but suddenly, after major spooky mysteries are revealed it suddenly loose all its dark traits and turns into bright adventure in the wild/teary story about motherhood. The whole book feels like the author struggled to keep control over the story which in the end made it incredibly messy. I could live with major mood shift but simply can't stand this lack of information consistency th ...more
Alma Katsu
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A young woman at a crossroads in her life is informed, out of the blue, that she is the last remaining member of an old, wealthy European noble house. In order to inherit, however, she must fly out to the family estate high in the Alps. There, she finds she's a virtual prisoner in an isolated old castle, as she tries to piece together her family's strange history.

While this may sound a bit redolent of Gothic thrillers like Dracula, that's where the similarity ends. Trussoni takes us to new place
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Ancestor is a wonderful shape-shifter of a novel. One minute you’ll suppose you’re in a haunted house: think Shirley Jackson. The next, you’re transported into the sort of world Mary Shelley might have created for Frankenstein. Danielle Trussoni is an immensely gifted literary descendant of both storytellers — they are among her ancestors — which is one of the many reasons why I savor her work so very much.
Erin A. Craig
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve always loved Trussoni’s books and THE ANCESTOR did not disappoint! The perfect blend of gothic horror and biological. If Mary Shelley was a Sasquatch’er, she would have written this! I devoured this book!
Jessica Woodbury
I am all for a horror novel that doesn't play by the rules, but with THE ANCESTOR I couldn't tell what the book actually was. It shifted and then shifted again and then it was over and I wasn't sure what had just happened.

At the beginning, the book feels like it's in a rush to get to the good parts, which leaves you somewhat baffled by the time we get to our primary setting of a Norther Italian castle cut off almost entirely from the outside world. It's not quite clear how our protagonist, Alber
Frank Phillips
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely amazing mystery/horror/syfy novel about an inheritance in a haunting, gothic, richly atmospheric Italian Alps castle. I loved it, from the very first to the last word I was simply captivated. it's been quite some time that I have picked up a book that's had me so enthralled that i did not want to put it down and race through it while also wanting to make the experience last as long as I could at the same time. Very impressive stuff from Trussoni, whom I've never read before. I was so ...more
La Crosse County Library
I picked up this book right after reading Devolution by Max Brooks when a colleague recommended this one due to a similar type of premise. I was excited to jump from a pack of Sasquatch terrorizing a commune during a natural disaster to an ancient castle with a Yeti.

From the premise, I was expecting the story to follow certain horror tropes according to my colleague’s spin on it with a Yeti terrorizing a town and a castle. Suffice to say that my expectations were subverted. Instead of the story
Just imagine for a second that your dreams of being royalty (a princess or a countess) comes true. Then you receive a letter stating you have inherited a castle in Italy and you are a Countess! What would you do?

Well this is the story of Alberta "Bert" Monte who was told she is the new "Countess Alberta Montebianco". She is flown to the Alps of Northern Italy near the city of Turin to see the estate she just inherited via a private jet. She meets with the attorneys and is whisked to her new life
Sadie Hartmann
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cemetery-dance
Review originally published at Cemetery Dance:
I have never wanted to live in the pages of a horror novel as much as I did while reading The Ancestor. Alberta Montebianco lives a stressful, emotionally complicated lifestyle in New York. With almost magical timing, a letter shows up addressed to her but with a new title in front of her name— “Countess.” As it turns out, Alberta discovers that she is possibly the sole, living heir to a noble title, and a
Jenny Baker
Feb 16, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2021
I got this book through my public library’s Surprise Me Bundle, which is their version of Pick One for Me. You fill out a form telling them what genre or topic interests you, the format, and the number of items you want up to five. They select them, put them on hold, and notify you via text or e-mail so that you can get them via curbside pickup. It’s so much fun! I’ll definitely participate again. I may not have loved this, but I did enjoy it. I would have overlooked it if I had seen it on my ow ...more
Janelle Janson
4.5 - review to come
Robin Bonne
2.5 Stars. The first half of this book was four stars, the end of the book was a one star. The book shifted in tone from gothic mystery to something else that I didn’t enjoy.
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni is one of my favorite genres that I rarely get to read. A gothic thriller that combines a little bit of science and a little bit of romance. This is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Trussoni and I enjoyed her writing style. The main character, Bert, is perfectly imperfect, making for an interesting storyline. Bert discovers hidden family secrets and that there's much more to her inheritance than the shiny and delectable.

The Ancestor is creepy and atmospheric, a
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"But tell me, child, do we ever escape the evils of the past?"

The Ancestor is the first book I've read by Danielle Trussoni, and I enjoyed it! This book has an intriguing and mysterious start, and I was hooked from the beginning.

This book is a blend of gothic horror and historical fiction with a cryptid storyline. There was a lot to like here. At first, I wasn't wild about the historical fiction parts, but they got more interesting as the book went along.

I had a hard time connecting with the la
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Things aren't going well for Alberta (Bert) Monte. She recently suffered a miscarriage and has separated from her husband. Then she receives a mysterious letter from Italy saying that she is the last living descent of a noble family. She convinces her husband to come with her to Italy to check it out as the trip is all paid for by the Montebianco family, which she, apparently, is a part of. There is even a castle that she inherited! Who wouldn't want to check this out? But once she is there, she ...more
Jordan (Jordy’s Book Club)
QUICK TAKE: you had me at “gothic novel of suspense that plunges the reader into a world of dark family secrets, the mysteries of human genetics, and the burden of family inheritance.” And I was totally into the first half of THE ANCESTOR. Loved the wish-fulfillment in discovering you’re actually of noble descent and the new owner of a castle. Loved the creepy castle and weird caretakers and strange family history mystery. And just when I thought I had an idea of where this one was going...BAM.. ...more
Audra (ouija.reads)
Gothic lit lovers rejoice! Have I ever got the book for you.

This is my first Danielle Trussoni book, and I think it is her first that is considered straight-up horror. I was completely swept away by the scope and pure readability of this book. It completely sucked me out of my day-to-day whenever I read it, which is quite the feat in times like these.

The story offers the mystery, romance, and chills of the gothic mashed up with a creature feature and sprinkles on some science, getting into genet
Sara Murphy
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can't remember the last time a book defied my expectations so totally ... I never would've guessed the ending based on the beginning, but the whole narrative developed very organically and beautifully. ...more
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Danielle Trussoni is a New York Times and Internationally bestselling novelist, with books translated into over thirty languages.

Trussoni wrote the supernatural adventure novels ANGELOLOGY (2010) and ANGELOPOLIS (2013), which have been described as "Breathtakingly Imaginative" by People Magazine and a "stellar...thrill ride" by
USA Today.

Her forthcoming novel, THE ANCESTOR explores the legacy of o

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For as long as people have been telling stories, we’ve spun tales of the monsters and nightmares that lurk in the shadows of our imaginations....
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“Those who came before us, with their family names and genetic legacies, with their physical peculiarities, whether it be albino skin or brown eyes—none of this mattered. Family was who we loved and who we protected. Family was the tribe we created here and now.” 1 likes
“She is violent only when violence is acted upon her first. When shown kindness, she is kind. That is the way of animals and humans alike.” 0 likes
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