Ever since I read Rachel Kapelke-Dale's debut's novel "The Ballerinas", I've been enamored with the worlds she creates and how she writes. She combines literary fiction with niche hobbies and occupations, and it's truly fascinating. There's always a conflict but it feels like that conflict is a sub plot to the main character finding their voice, and their path. 

I reviewed her last novel, The Ingenue, last year and was delighted when I received an ARC of her latest book, The Fortune Seller, I was delighted. It was released on February 13th and I read it very recently. It was an interesting book and I liked it a lot better than The Ingenue, but maybe not as much as The Ballerinas. 

It was intense, interesting, and maddening in so many ways.

Publisher's Summary

Middle-class Rosie Macalister has worked for years to fit in with her wealthy friends on the Yale equestrian team. But when she comes back from her junior year abroad with newfound confidence, she finds that the group has been infiltrated by a mysterious intruder: Annelise Tattinger.

A talented tarot reader and a brilliant rider, the enigmatic Annelise is unlike anyone Rosie has ever met. But when one of their friends notices money disappearing from her bank account, Annelise's place in the circle is thrown into question. As the girls turn against each other, the group’s unspoken tensions and assumptions lead to devastating consequences.

It's only after graduation, when Rosie begins a job at a Manhattan hedge fund, that she uncovers Annelise's true identity––and how her place in their elite Yale set was no accident. Is it too late for Rosie to put right what went wrong, or does everyone's luck run out at some point? Set in the heady days of the early aughts, 
The Fortune Seller is a haunting examination of class, ambition, and the desires that shape our lives.

My Thoughts

The entire book felt a little chaotic at times but not in a hard to follow way...it was just that I didn't know if I could trust Rosie's judgement and narration. There was something off about her that didn't sit right with me; maybe it was her obsession with money, maybe it was her infatuation with people who weren't really her friends, or maybe it was the way she became enamored with Annelise so quickly. 

Rosie is obsessed with money, and obsessed with Grayson Tate, her best friend's father, who is a big shot businessman. It was so off putting to read about how much she idolized this man who was probably a horrible person. I know why she was obsessed with money, because she didn't have any but it just felt so pathetic. She pitied herself too much and I almost didn't respect her for that reason...but maybe that's what I was supposed to feel.

The Fortune Seller was a great insight on class and hierarchy in society, especially in New York and the Ivy League system, which I always appreciate in a book. That also felt like the secondary messaging woven throughout the story, which Rachel Dale always does really well. 

There were some twists along the way, one of which I saw coming from a mile away but the two others were so shocking I actually gasped. I thought they added a lot to the story, and made the stakes for Rosie even higher. 

As Dale always does, there is a niche career or hobby at the focus of her stories and this time it was fortune telling. I do think it was an odd choice and honestly, anything could've been in it's place. It was embedded into every corner of the book, at the beginning of every chapter, but I almost didn't understand it's purpose.  

I thought the love story that happened later on was really odd, and the entire ending felt a little rushed and disjointed, like the author was trying to fit in a bunch of tied up loose ends within the last few pages. With all my criticism being said, I did like this book and if you're looking for something interesting to read, that reads as literary with a touch of mystery, you might like The Fortune Seller.

SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment