Cover image for The ancestor : a novel / Danielle Trussoni.
Title:
The ancestor : a novel / Danielle Trussoni.
ISBN:
9780062912756
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
349 pages : genealogical chart ; 24 cm.
Geographic Term:
Summary:
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 castle in Italy. But her ancestry has a dark side, and Bert soon learns that her family history is particularly complicated. As Bert begins to unravel the Montebianco secrets, she begins to realize her true inheritance lies not in a legacy of ancestral treasures, but in her very genes. --
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Copies
Status
Searching...
Book FICTION TRU 0 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book FICTION TRU 0 1
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

From the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of the Angelology series comes 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 castle in Italy. While Bert is more than a little skeptical, the mystery of her aristocratic family's past, and the chance to escape her stressful life for a luxury holiday in Italy, is too good to pass up.

At first, her inheritance seems like a dream come true: a champagne-drenched trip on a private jet to Turin, Italy; lawyers with lists of artwork and jewels bequeathed to Bert; a helicopter ride to an ancestral castle nestled in the Italian Alps below Mont Blanc; a portrait gallery of ancestors Bert never knew existed; and a cellar of expensive vintage wine for Bert to drink.

But her ancestry has a dark side, and Bert soon learns that her family history is particularly complicated. As Bert begins to unravel the Montebianco secrets, she begins to realize her true inheritance lies not in a legacy of ancestral treasures, but in her very genes.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Trussoni (Angelology) concocts a deliciously creepy tale of a windfall turned nightmare. Twenty-eight-year-old Bert Monte lives in Milton, N.Y., and has recently separated from her husband, Luca, when she receives a surprising letter from Italy informing her that she has inherited the Montebianco estate, including a castle in the Alps and a large sum of money. Her grandmother, Nonna Sophia, explains that Bert's grandfather shortened their name after they immigrated to the U.S., and shares some tragic family history about seeing her younger brother abducted by a horrific beast that was known to take children near the family castle. Luca agrees to accompany Bert to Turin, where she learns about her inheritance and responsibilities, but the trip is marred by a fight, culminating in Luca telling Bert that "her family is tainted." She travels alone by helicopter to the isolated, snow-covered Montebianco Castle. After the helicopter does not return within a week as promised, Bert immerses herself in her family history, learning the truth behind the legend of the Beast of Nevenero and hoping to patch things up with Luca. Trussoni plausibly and expertly combines an intense, darkly gothic narrative with elements of mystery, the paranormal, and legendary tales. This odyssey of monsters and family will enrapture readers. Agent: Eric Simonoff, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. (Apr.)


Kirkus Review

Scientific speculation seeps into the world of the eerie in Trussoni's (The Fortress, 2016, etc.) lush thriller.Alberta Monte, known to all as Bert, is mourning a miscarriage and has recently separated from her husband when she receives a letter at her Hudson Valley home informing her that she has been identified as the last living descendant of the House of Montebianco. Despite a "creeping sense of danger slithering up my spine," Bert allows the estate's lawyer to sweep her off by private jet first to a luxury hotel in Turin and then by helicopter to Montebianco Castle in the remote, snowbound Italian Alps. Finding herself without cellphone or internet access, and observing that the helicopter pilot doesn't return for her at the promised time, Bert begins to suspect that her inheritance has its minuses as well as its pluses. Life inside the castle, which comes complete with eccentric caretakers, vicious guard dogs, and a madwoman in the attic, is hard enough. Outside the castle live blue-eyed, white-haired, big-footed monsters with whom, she comes to understand, she shares a surprising kinship. As she discovers her links with those inside the castle and outside it, her sense of danger grows. Trussoni plays here with the contemporary obsession with using DNA to uncover the past and employs some far-fetched scientific theories to explain the nature and existence of the humanoids that Bert gradually realizes are somehow connected to the complicated bloodline of the mysterious Montebiancos. Few, however, are likely to read the novel for its insights into genetics and biology. At its heart, this is an opulently romantic horror tale, with a plucky, if not always sensible, heroine who discovers she is part of a family whose dark secrets have been sheltered from the world at large.Passion trumps reason in this gothic extravaganza. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Finding out you are heir to an ancient and wealthy noble title would be like winning a fortune in the lottery, right? The first-person retrospective narrative of Trussoni's first novel since the Angelology duology (Angelology, 2010; Angelopolis, 2013) states right from the start that something beyond the normal is involved. Bert Monte is a 28-year-old, recently separated American wife struggling with her inability to produce a child. When a letter arrives addressed to Alberta Isabelle Eleanor Vittoria Montebianco, Bert learns she is heir to an unusual legacy. That inheritance will take her across the sea to a remote castle hidden in the mountains of northern Italy. With the legalities explained, the new Countess Montebianco is flown out to her property--and soon discovers her charming lawyer has stranded her during the middle of winter with no means of returning to civilization. At the estate, Bert will discover many secrets about her parents and ancestors, including a startling heritage carried in her genes. The intermingling of science, legend, and genealogy make for a truly captivating tale of literary horror.


Library Journal Review

Alberta "Bert" Monte receives a letter at her upstate New York home, claiming she is the last member of an Italian noble family. With some trepidation, she is whisked off via private jet to her ancestral castle tucked deep in the Italian Alps. The chance to escape to a life of luxury and leave a community in which she was never quite accepted. Once she arrives, however, questions about her ancestors' dark secrets and why she is among the last survivors of this centuries-old family tree start to pile up, and her search for answers seems to be leading to monstrous ends. Told completely from Bert's perspective, the story will sweep readers up in the awe and wonder, asking us to examine our own complicated ancestry. VERDICT The rags-to-riches theme paired with long-buried secrets and a claustrophobic setting in which monsters can hide in plain sight makes this title appealing to a wide range of readers, especially in this age of ubiquitous DNA testing. Pair it with Jennifer Egan's backlist gem, The Keep.