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October 1, 2023

Fortune by Ellen Won Steil ~ A Review

by Susan Roberts

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.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of suspense novel Fortune by Ellen Won Steil
October 2023; Lake Union; 978-1662512100
audio, ebook, print (347 pages); suspense

This well written novel goes into the lives of four very different women and how they are affected by a long ago mystery.  The author does a great job of keeping the suspense high as her readers keep turning the pages to find out how it ends.  The ending was a surprise for me because I sure didn't see it coming and even though I thought I had it figured out several times, I would soon realize how wrong I was.

The four women:

Edie - after her billionaire husband is killed in a car accident, she finds a picture of Baby Ava in his safety deposit box with three names written on it.  Baby Ava's death was a long time mystery in the small town and no one knew who had left the baby to die.  Edie decides to hold a lottery asking for DNA with the prize of lots of money.  Her real reason behind the lottery is to find out which of the three women is guilty.

Cleo is a newly divorced mom who has moved in with her mother along with her son.  She's looking for work and ends up reading to an unknown invalid several hours a week.

Jemma is a state senator who is up for re-election but her main issue is her teenage daughter.

Alex is a divorce attorney whose marriage is crumbling.

Cleo, Jemma and Alex were friends in school and are all holding on to a secret from their senior year.  Is the secret related to what Edie is looking for with her lottery?  The friends realize that they need to stick together to keep their secret from being revealed and even though they haven't seen each other in years, they quickly begin to depend on each other.  I thought that the three friends were very well written and handled their problems in a realistic way.  I had sympathy for all of them as they struggled to keep their lives together despite problems and enjoyed seeing them re-kindle their friendship after so many years.

The novel was a little confusing at first - it jumps back and forth between time lines and characters but once I got used to the flow, I realized that this was the best way to tell this story to keep it full of suspense.

This is a debut novel for this author and based on this book, I'm really looking forward to her future novels.

Buy Fortune at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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