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The Ancestor

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  76 ratings  ·  33 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
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by William Morrow
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  • The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni
    The Ancestor
    Release date: Apr 07, 2020
    From the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of the Angelology series comes a bewitching gothic novel of suspense that ...more

    Format: Print book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 50 copies available, 3320 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 08 - Jan 29, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Average rating 4.07  · 
    Rating details
     ·  76 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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    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
    Jessica Woodbury
    Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: horror, arc
    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,
    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.
    Susanne Gulde
    Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: arc, fiction
    The author sent an advanced reader's copy to me at Union County Public Library in Indiana. I'm so happy to be introduced to this author and her works.
    I love the narrative tone of the book, Alberta is a wonderful character to follow throughout the events she shares with the reader. The writing is excellent, with great style and vocabulary.
    Thank you, Ms. Trussoni. I will write a more detailed review when the book is published in April, and definitely recommend it to patrons and friends.
    Shannon Adkins
    Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Love all her work
    Jessy Sielski
    Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Danielle Trussoni's The Ancestor is a truly unique, thrilling, intelligent, emotional, and meaningful work. There may be other novels with similar themes and settings, but I have never read anything quite like this. To avoid spoilers of any kind, I won't share details of the story, but I have to praise Trussoni not only for attempting to tackle a concept like this, but also for doing it so masterfully.

    From the first chapter to the final sentence, Trussoni cleverly and continually redirects your
    Debra Jeakins
    Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    To say the the ANCESTOR BY DANIELLE TRUSSONI is unusual doesnt even begin to describe it! Dark gothic does not even describe it totally. Bizarre and downright spooky is more like it! Which is why I chose to read this book and why I really enjoyed it! It hit a ten on my creepy story meter!

    We've all done it, I know I have. Sitting at your kitchen table wishing you were a titled person,living in a castle with servants and jewels. Well, Bert Monte, average American citizen got just that! When a
    That was an amazing read!!

    Ms. Trussoni's descriptions are some of the best I've read, especially when our main character, Alberta, arrives at a very hard to reach -- and even harder to leave (or escape; you decide) -- inheritance, hidden away in the mountains of Turin. There's such unique insight and creativity in Alberta's discovery of just what she comes from and why those unusual feet of hers have always made her self-conscious.

    This is a read to just jump into and let ice you all over. You
    Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I won a copy of this book through Goodreads Giveaways, and I truly had no expectations at all going in. I had never read anything by Danielle Trussoni before, but the premise sounded intriguing and I thought it would at least be a fun read. In the end, I was completely blown away by this book! It was beautifully written and beautifully plotted, and the storyline took so many twists and turns that it kept me guessing all the way through. It also had just the right amount of creepy/horrific ...more
    Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: my-books, pre-release
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
    The Ancestor declares that family is not defined by blood and DNA, but by those closest to you. A strange and riveting tale that begs the question: Do my ancestors define who I am?
    Review to come closer to pub date.
    Becky Spratford
    Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Review in Library Journal January 2020 issue:
    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 ...more
    Jess Witkins
    Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
    This book gave me nightmares!

    I could not put down Danielle Trussoni’s The Ancestor. I was fortunate to receive an advanced copy from the author. I didn’t know much about the book beyond the fact it dealt with genealogy. I heard it described as a horror novel and wondered why. Ohmygawd, my dreams were so messed up while reading this book, and I kept checking dark corners for icy blue eyes! My kudos to Danielle and her writing which left constant hooks that made me read “one more chapter” well
    Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
    Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for providing me with the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    This was quite a novel to jumpstart 2020 with, although I’m on the fence of whether I thoroughly enjoyed it or not. From the get-go, it was a little absurd that Alberta, a seemingly normal and level-headed human being, would fly to some tiny Italian alpine village without knowing any real details about the inheritance or ordeal she was getting herself into. However, this is a work
    Chad Guarino
    Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    An unassuming woman from New York discovers she's the sole remaining heir to a vast Italian family fortune in Danielle Trussoni's latest novel, "The Ancestor." It's not all sunshine for new "Countess" Bert Monte however, as she soon discovers that familial inheritance often comes with bizarre strings attached.

    The Ancestor is an often strange mixture of the trappings of Gothic fiction (branching family trees, an old creaky castle, and mysterious figures locked in castle towers) and science
    Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: netgalley
    I received advanced access to this ebook through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

    I thought I would like this book based on the description, but it turned out to be very different from what I expected. It sounded like a gothic thriller complete with a creepy castle and an isolated landscape. I was not prepared for, nor did I enjoy, the science fiction aspect to the story. In addition, the plot was filled with more holes than a a slice of Swiss cheese, and character development of the
    Pat Doucett
    I have to say this book was rather bizarre. It wasn't what I expected. It started out OK but then it really got strange. I have to admit that the author has quite an imagination. I know more and more people are using Ancestry to find out where they came from and this led our main character "Bert" to her inheritance but it also led to other strange things too. Things that I certainly would not want to be involved with. DNA has done a lot of good in finding criminals and releasing innocent people ...more
    Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: giveaways
    An amazing novel! Not what was expected and loved the book. If all of this authors books are written like this one she has become one of my favorite authors!
    Bert receives a letter that she has inherited a castle and the title of Countess in Italy. Bert is apprehensive but excited about her inheritance. Bert was unaware that she had family in Italy. Bert travels to Italy to claim her inheritance but does not find what she expected or could even dream of. In Italy she finds her great grandmother
    Anita Orsino
    Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I am a fan of Danielle Trussoni's Angelology series and am eagerly awaiting the third book. In the interim, I won an advance copy of her newest book, The Ancestor, which will be published in April. The book did not disappoint. It starts out with a letter from an Italian lawyer sent to an ordinary young woman from a small town in upstate NY and from there twists and turns through geography, history, genetics and family ties with a dose of Gothic horror. All of those aspects are skillfully woven ...more
    Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I enjoyed this read. It did have some parts that could have been fleshed out more (Bert's life before receiving the letter, the characters at the castle, the surrounding area of the castle), but the story was intriguing and compelling all in all. The uniqueness of focusing on the DNA and ancestral inheritance rather than something simply supernatural made it stand out for me. I do believe a sequel could work and be interesting following the return to the castle. I'd recommend this book to ...more
    Linda Quinn
    This modern gothic novel was not at all what I was expecting. I expected a suspense thriller and while there was some suspense it was more about family, ones we are born into and ones we choose to belong to. When Bert Monte receives a letter notifying her that she is the last of a long line of an Italian dynasty it seems like a fairy tale. The reality is much darker and she learns there is much she will have to sacrifice to take her place as the rightful heir to the family's fortune.
    Candace Worrell
    Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
    It lost a star because at times I wanted to shout, “Show, don’t tell!” The book is written in first person past tense with ominous hints dropped throughout. However, the tension dissipated because she obviously survived whatever terrible thing was coming.

    Overall, it was engaging and the mystery of what was going on kept me reading. I did not expect what was revealed and was surprised by the resolution. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those who liked The Last Neanderthal.
    Dec 07, 2019 rated it liked it
    The book had an interesting premise and I found the first half very intriguing. Then it fell apart for me with silly lapses in relations and moving past significant moments, like the break up of her husband and the death of her husband and father in-law the same way you would walk by chewing gum at the check out counter.

    The overall story was interesting and so much more could have been done to make this compelling and epic.
    Nicole Pinto
    Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This book was a mixture of genres, and therefore had a little bit of everything thrown into it. However, the author makes it work. I thought the writing was fantastic. The world the author created was very interesting and I thought the book was fantastic. My only gripe was feeling slightly unfulfilled by the ending. Thank you to netgalley for the arc.
    Mick Loves Books
    Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: books-i-own
    When I won this book on Goodreads I was so very excited to read it and I can honestly say it did not disappoint. The writing is beautiful, the storyline is original, and the goosebumps it gave me were so very real as if I was there in the story with the characters. It definitely keeps you enthralled to the very end. I loved every moment of it. I highly recommend The Ancestor.
    Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I received an advanced reader's copy of this book and couldn't put it down! This was a unique and enthralling story that blended gothic horror with science fiction and all around beautiful writing. At first, it was the lush descriptions of northern Italy and spooky castles that drew me in, but soon the story shifted into something else entirely that was unexpected and unlike any other book I've read. I highly recommend this for fans of both gothic literature and sci-fi as it blends both genres ...more
    Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
    The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni definitely grabs you from the beginning and keeps you until the end. Fast paced, interesting premise. Thank you Edelweiss for the advanced copy.
    Thank you Goodreads for the sending me a copy from a giveaway! I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. It went a little out of my normal genre reading but it kept me engaged until the very end.
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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
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