My Dark Vanessa meets The Queen’s Gambit in this new novel of suspense about the bonds of family, the limits of talent, the risks of ambition, and the rewards of revenge
by Rachel Kapelke-Dale
St. Martin’s Press, December 2022
When former piano prodigy Saskia Kreis returns home to Milwaukee after her mother’s unexpected death, she expects to inherit the family estate, the Elf House. But with the discovery that her mother’s will bequeathed the Elf House to a man that Saskia shares a complicated history with, she is forced to reexamine her own past—and the romantic relationship that changed the course of her life—for answers. Can she find a way to claim her heritage while keeping her secrets buried, or will the fallout from digging too deep destroy her?
Set against a post #MeToo landscape, THE INGENUE delves into mother-daughter relationships, the expectations of talent, the stories we tell ourselves, and what happens when the things that once made you special are taken from you. Moving between Saskia’s childhood and the present day, this dark, contemporary fairy tale pulses with desire, longing, and uncertainty, as it builds to its spectacular, shocking climax.
Rachel Kapelke-Dale is the author of The Ballerinas and co-author of Graduates in Wonderland (Penguin 2014), a memoir about the significance and nuances of female friendships. Kapelke-Dale spent years in intensive ballet training before receiving a BA from Brown University, an MA from the Université de Paris VII, and a PhD from University College London. She currently lives in Paris.
Dare Me meets Black Swan and Luckiest Girl Alive in a captivating, voice-driven debut novel about a trio of ballerinas who meet as students at the Paris Opera Ballet School.
by Rachel Kapelke-Dale
St. Martin’s Press, December 2021
Fourteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg—taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now thirty-six years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career—and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she’s been away…and some secrets can’t stay buried forever. Moving between the trio’s adolescent years and the present day, THE BALLERINAS explores the complexities of female friendship, the dark drive towards physical perfection in the name of artistic expression, the double-edged sword of ambition and passion, and the sublimated rage that so many women hold inside—all culminating in a twist you won’t see coming, with magnetic characters you won’t soon forget.
Rachel Kapelke-Dale is the co-author of Graduates in Wonderland (Penguin, 2014), a memoir about the significance and nuances of female friendships. The author of Vanity Fair Hollywood’s column “Advice from the Stars,” Kapelke-Dale spent years in intensive ballet training before receiving a BA from Brown University, an MA from the Université de Paris VII, and a PhD from University College London. She currently lives in Paris.