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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Fortune Seller

Narrator: Stephanie Cannon

ISBN: 9781250333001

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 02/13/2024

Format: Audio & e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars (ALC) (ARC)

"Sophisticated with just the right dose of sinister, this coming-of-age story doesn’t shy from the grisly power dynamics of privilege." ––Library Journal

Yellowjackets meets The Cloisters in this beguiling coming-of-age story about class, reinvention, and destiny, set against the backdrop of two mysterious deaths.

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 Review

Rachel Kapelke-Dale returns following The Ingenue and The Ballerinas with her latest coming-of-age novel THE FORTUNE SELLER— a haunting and gripping portrayal of class, desire, privilege, and ambition. (no one masters it better than Rachel)!

I LOVED THIS BOOK! A huge fan of the author.

Rosie Macalister (small-town Illinois) grew up middle class and has worked hard to try and fit in with her wealthy friends at Yale and the equestrian team. Rosie is on a scholarship, unlike her wealthy roommates. When she returns to Yale for her senior year, she discovers a new roommate in the house she shares with four others.

Annelise Tattinger is a skilled rider, and Rosie is obsessed with her—her family, money, power, prestige, clothes, sophistication, and riding skill. She keeps everyone at arm's length and is secretive about her past. Annelise is enigmatic, mysterious, and alluring. Plus, she is a master, gifted in the art of Tarot cards and fortune telling. Who is the real Annelise?

Soon, competition and rivalry change the dynamics between the teammates. Something happens, and accusations are made. One of the girls notices money disappearing from her bank account, and Annelise's place in the circle is questioned. Can they trust her? As the girls turn against each other, the group’s unspoken tensions and assumptions lead to devastating consequences. Rosie suspects there is more to Annelise and begins sleuthing.

Then, shortly thereafter, someone dies in a riding accident. However, was it an accident?

Rosie leaves Connecticut to take a finance job in NYC at a hedge fund (not what she exactly wanted- as an assistant), but she thinks it will be a way into the world she wants. However, there is betrayal, lies, secrets, and deceit. Has Rosie made a deal with the devil? Is someone setting her up to take the fall or buying her off to keep secrets?

Does someone want revenge? Rosie will soon learn some difficult life lessons and what it takes to be truly happy.

"Fortune sounds like a wonderful thing, but that's just not how things work because we've told ourselves fairy tales about it for so long. Fortune is nothing more and nothing less than the idea that there are some things in our lives—so much more than we'd like to believe—that are out of our control, no matter how hard we try. And that's why you have to ask, but almost nobody ever does. Because they don't really want the answer. Do you really want to know?"

Wow! The author has outdone herself! THE FORTUNE SELLER is twisty, alluring, dark, sinister, and atmospheric, and I was glued to the pages to see how this would turn out! (in one sitting). I read the e-book and listened to the audiobook, which was fantastic and narrated by the talented Stephanie Cannon—perfect for all voices for an engaging performance. I Highly recommend the audiobook.

I would also recommend buying the hardcover or e-book, as well. I highlighted many pages with the Tarot cards. You do not want to miss this.

CAPTVATING! The best part, and my favorite, is the innovative and creative introduction of each chapter with the title of a Tarot Card, its description, and how it fits with what is happening in the novel. BRILLIANT!

I loved Chapter 39: The Ten of Pentacles (Reversed) "Everybody wants something. And the way that we go after those things determines who we are. Ten of Pentacles, when it's reversed, is all about the traps we get ourselves into. About what we've let define ourselves and our self-worth; about how we've forced ourselves into certain roles because of the compromises we thought we had to make."

Fits so well with the novel. I am a huge tarot card and equestrian fan, so this book had it all! After all, I live in Wellington, FL, the equestrian capital of the world. For real, I had a tarot card reading in New Orleans, and five years later, everything she predicted came true, which was spine-chilling!

If you have yet to read this author, you are missing out. I have loved all three of her books, and THE FORTUNE SELLER is my absolute favorite! I love the author's writing style! —a mix of coming-of-age, literary (beautiful lyrical prose), suspense, mystery, thriller, and dark academia. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press, Macmillan Audio, and NetGalley for the gifted ARC and ALC in exchange for an honest review. #SMPInfluencers

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Feb 13, 2024

My Rating: 5 Stars


"Kapelke-Dale skillfully blends class concerns, character development, and a menacing atmosphere, emerging with an intoxicating mystery that defies easy categorization. Readers will be tempted to devour it in a single sitting."

―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Sophisticated with just the right dose of sinister, this coming-of-age story doesn’t shy from the grisly power dynamics of privilege."

―Library Journal

"This book combines so many things I enjoy...who doesn't want to read about horse girls and fortune tellers? Delightful."


"Brimming with competitions, rivalries amid friendships, and secrets within lies...Fans of Kapelke-Dale's signature twisty suspense will be riveted."


"Propulsive and engrossing, The Fortune Seller deftly examines the ways in which our lives are shaped by luck and by fate, illustrating the sometimes grizzly consequences of tempting either. Rachel Kapelke-Dale has (once again) captured the complexities of female friendship, ambition, and privilege with razor-sharp insight and sparkling prose, all set in the evocative worlds of equestrian competitions, dark academia, and the New York elite. Tarot cards offer hints at what’s to come in each chapter, but this story kept me on my toes throughout; I absolutely devoured it." ―Genevieve Wheeler, author of Adelaide

"Kapelke-Dale is fluent in the double-edged language of female friendship. I ripped through The Fortune Seller, her captivating, fast-paced novel about upper-crust, ride-or-die housemates at Yale whose petty cruelties take a sinister turn. A refreshing look at girl power and identity, longing and belonging, and fate and free will, The Fortune Seller reveals the dark impulses that fuel our most intense, intoxicating relationships."

―Jillian Medoff, author of When We Were Bright and Beautiful

"Delicious and addicting, The Fortune Seller is the book of my occult horse-girl dreams. Ambition, excess, equestrians-all filtered through the tarot and the question of fate versus luck. Kapelke-Dale has constructed a glittering tale of sacrifice and privilege. I guarantee you will not be able to put it down."

―Julia Fine, author of Maddalena and the Dark

"The Fortune Seller is pure magic. A juicy campus novel suffused with complex friendship dynamics and an insider-outsider story of one woman’s struggle to fit in with her high-flying peers, Kapelke-Dale weaves suspense with sharp prose for a read that's both fast-paced and thought-provoking. The novel’s tarot cards may illuminate the future, but this much is clear: I’d follow Kapelke-Dale anywhere."

―Avery Carpenter Forrey, author of Social Engagement

read my reviews:

About the Author

Rachel Kapelke-Dale is the author of The Ingenue and The Ballerinas, and co-author of Graduates in Wonderland. Kapelke-Dale received a B.A. from Brown University, where she rode on the varsity equestrian team, an M.A. from the Université de Paris-Diderot, and a Ph.D. from University College London. She currently lives in Paris. WEBSITE







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