Friday, September 29, 2023

Fortune by Ellen Won Steil

In this explosive novel about a decades-old mystery, shocking revelations of the past and the secrets of three women will be spilled when a small Midwest town announces a DNA lottery.

One drop of blood for a chance at a multimillion-dollar windfall. Is it a philanthropic gesture from a billionaire widow? Some suspect a darker motive behind the DNA lottery—one tied to the eighteen-year-old mystery of an infant’s unidentified remains that mars the history of idyllic Rosemary Hills, Iowa. Right after the blood lottery is announced, three local women fall under suspicion of knowing something about that night, and their carefully kept secrets threaten to spill out too.

Cleo is a divorced single mom forced to return to her hometown and accept a strange job reading to an invalid recluse; Jemma is a controversial state senator whose reelection campaign and teenage daughter have her on edge; and Alex, a divorce attorney, copes with a crumbling marriage of her own and the suffocating presence of a cold, overbearing mother.

Soon, unimaginable revelations of the past will collide with the present—and not just for Cleo, Jemma, and Alex. In this seemingly ordinary community, they aren’t the only ones with long-buried secrets.

Paperback, 347 pages
Expected publication
October 1, 2023
 by Lake Union Publishing
3.5/5 stars

Releasing in a couple days, this debut author has penned an interesting idea for a book. Mail in DNA testing and all these ancestry family tree searches are still a thing.  

In Fortune there are many layers to this story and while it started out with somewhat of a bang it slowed down for me with the many subplots.  With the introduction of each of these 3 women and those in their lives it was hard at times to keep everyone straight.  I did mange but read at a slower pace then usual. As each of these women slowly go back in time to what happened 18 years ago it revealed a story that I did not expect.

Fortune is a story of secrets, friendship and family.  How the past always catching up with you eventually.  The ending was not one I expected but it was one that worked and concluded this book nicely.

My thanks to Lake Union for a print arc in exchange for a honest review.    

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