July 11, 2024

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Five Reasons To Read The Fortune Seller By Rachel Kapelke-Dale

The Fortune Seller By Rachel Kapelke-Dale-Summary

Goodreads summary (review below) of Rachel Kapelke-Dale’s The Fortune Seller:

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 the group has been infiltrated by the mysterious Annelise Tattinger.

A talented tarot reader and a brilliant rider, 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 women 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 begins to uncover Annelise’s true identity–and how her place in their elite Yale set was no accident. Is it too late for Rosie to make 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.

Reason #1- Let’s Talk About Literary Fiction

Yes, this is a reason (or at least coming from me, it is). Stone cold fact: I’ve only accidentally read Literary Fiction and can’t do it. Maybe I’m missing whatever wires in the brain necessary to get it, but I don’t. I’m not judging; this is just a fact about me. The only reason I’ve read it accidentally is because thrillers are often labeled as thrillers and then kaboom. You have a Literary Fiction book with maybe a twist thrown in for fun.

Having said that, here is the point. Rachel Kapelke-Dale is as close as I get to Literary Fiction that I absolutely devour. And that is all to her credit. Unfortunately, I was on hiatus when The Ballerina and The Ingenue came out. And this is how they feel. It is like you are walking down a dark ally, a long dark ally. You feel creeped out, but eh. You keep going. Suddenly, kaboom! You are mugged from behind, shocked, dazed, and utterly stunned.

The fortune Seller By Rachel Kapelke-Dale Summary Review

Ever since I read The Ballerinas, I have kept waiting for Rachel Kapelke-Dale to lose me. She’ll write a book that will just not hit with me. Yet, she keeps nailing this border between Literary Fiction and Thrillers that don’t just work; they are exemplary. So, for those who are Thriller readers like me. For those that are as peeved by the screwed-up marketing of some thrillers that are just plain… no. The Ballerina, The Ingenue, and The Fortune Seller are precisely for you. Now. Let’s break this down.

Reason #2 Writing

Rachel Kapelke-Dale couldn’t pull off this balancing act without some serious writing chops.

But though you think you’ll leave the past in the past, you never do. It drags along behind you, tin cans tied to rope around your ankles, clanking and clattering at the most inopportune moments.

The Fortune Seller is beautifully written prose that is lyrical in its flow. Yet, it never drags or gets repetitive. Rachel Kapelke-Dale has a talent for storytelling that lulls you in with its beauty, to break your neck with whiplash. She writes about life, women, and class with honesty. At the same time, she creates this growing sense of dread until the bomb(s) drop.

With The Fortune Seller, Rachel Kapelke-Dale takes essential time building up the characters and life. Without the time and dedication taken to build these pieces up, there wouldn’t be any connection between the reader and the bends in the road that come about.

Reason #3 Characters

Each of the main female characters comes from decidedly different backgrounds, and those are thoroughly built up. Each girl’s journey to where she is, the time spent together, and how they go forward is no accident, no trick of the light. Every twist makes sense in the story because you know the characters well.

Moreover, you don’t just know them as individuals. Despite being polar opposites, their magnetism with each other makes them inseparable. They are bound together by the Yale Equestrian team, roommates, and similar current circumstances. However, their past and how they look at the future make them distinct individuals, creating tension among this entangled group.

Rachel Kapelke-Dale has a natural talent for writing girls who are coming of age, competing against each other, and dealing with the pressures they put on themselves are placed on them by others and each other.

Annaleise, the latest girl to join this group, has a well-explored background without giving an inch away to what is to come with her character. How she changes the dynamics of how everyone interacts and her journey all weave together. Yet, Rachel Kapelke-Dale solidifies her character despite the reader knowing that there is a mystery behind her background. But then again, can you really know who anyone is, even when you are the best of friends? Each girl has layers like an onion that peel back as the story develops.

The fortune Seller By Rachel Kapelke-Dale Summary Review

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for an advance copy of The Fortune Seller by Rachel Kapelke-Dale, which will be released on February 13.

‘I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you. I’m sorry I didn’t come through.’

‘But you did…In the end. And the end’s what counts.’

I bit my lip, then let it go with a shake of my head. ‘No. It’s how we live that counts.’

‘Yes and no. It’s both, it’s neither. It’s like… your life? It’s the evidence and you’re the verdict. You, as you are now.’

Reason #4 Social Classes

Another critical factor that plays into The Fortune Seller is the push and pull of social classes. I was especially impressed by the distinction/discussion between being poor and being broke. It isn’t just the uber-wealthy versus the uber-poor.

‘The thing about Grayson Tate,’ she said languidly, ‘ is that they were born on third base and think they hit a triple.’

There are all the grays of social classes in between. And the difference between being a wealthy/middle-class man and a wealthy/middle-class woman.

‘It wasn’t like he was carrying the kids himself. It is possible to knock up two women-if not simultaneiously, then definitely consecutively.’

Rachel Kapelke-Dale goes as far as to dive into how even an Ivy League College degree from a school like Yale won’t make you a part of the upper crust of society. You can still be ignored, underestimated, poorly treated, and kept on the outside of the circle.


‘Yes, Mr. Tate?’

‘This isn’t an analyst-track job… Where the hell did you ever get the idea that you can get from where you are to where I am?’

Reason #5- The Tarot Cards

This section is admittedly short because there isn’t too much I can say. But what I want to say, I want to scream from the rooftops. I’m unsure if Rachel Kapelke-Dale was ever a ballerina, an ingenue, or read Tarot Cards. But if she hasn’t, she has done much research. Ok. I’ve never been any of those things, so maybe I wouldn’t know if they weren’t well written. But, as a reader, I definitely feel the truth in how these pieces are interwoven in each book. The Fortune Seller is no exception. At the beginning of each chapter is a different card with an explanation that inevitably relates to the chapter. It is beautifully done.

Chapter 30: The Hanged Man

Okay, you know how I said I hate getting Strength <the card>? I for sure hate the Hanged Man more. Maybe even most. He tells you to take a break, to give in to what’s happening, to let go of what you want. I know you have to, sometimes. but I never want to do it, and this guy’s gonna make you.


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