Take A Journey to the Past with Sara Blaedel’s ‘The Undertaker’s Daughter’ [REVIEW]


When her estranged father dies, a woman suddenly discovers that she has inherited a funeral home in a foreign country in Sara Blaedel’s The Undertaker’s Daughter. (Photo courtesy Pexels)

I always admire writers who desire to try something new. In the case of Denmark’s bestselling author Sara Blaedel, she takes a departure from her Detective Louise Rick series and introduces readers to Ilka Jensen, a school portrait photographer in Copenhagen who inherits her estranged father’s funeral home in Racine, Wisconsin. What will she do with it? And is she willing to confront the past? Find out in Blaedel’s new novel, The Undertaker’s Daughter. 


Grand Central Publishing

As the story unfolds, we learn that Ilka’s memories of her father are limited since he left the family in Copenhagen when she was quite young and created a new life for himself in America. Understandably, Ilka has loads of questions about her late father’s life in Wisconsin.

Blaedel takes this opportunity to introduce readers to a cast of eccentric and complex characters, all of whom come to life as this novel unfolds.

Readers will also find themselves captivated as Ilka evolves from a grieving daughter struggling to piece together a picture of her father using only fragments of his past and ultimately becomes a woman determined to find a murderer in an unsolved murder case.

Blaedel does a beautiful job describing the inner turmoil Ilka feels as she reconciles the events of the past and learns to accept that which she cannot change. The conclusions she reaches may not be the reality hoped for, but she soon discovers they have far reaching ramifications in which her own thoughts and feelings play a large role. But will she be able to maintain her forward momentum of acceptance and joy while new obstacles are thrown in her path?

Ilka Jensen struggles to find this balance by visiting Racine and getting to know the family she never knew, and even learns to see her mother as a woman who made hard choices for the right reasons at the time. With The Undertaker’s Daughter, Blaedel takes readers on a thrilling yet meaningful journey into how the past affects our present.


Sara Blaedel

Sara Blaedel
(Photo by Les Kaner)

Sara Blaedel is the author of the number one international bestselling series featuring Detective Louise Rick, including The Forgotten GirlsThe Killing Forest, and The Lost Woman

Her books are published in 23 countries and she has been voted Denmark’s most popular novelist four times. She is also a recipient of the Golden Laurel, Denmark’s most prestigious literary award.

She recently moved to New York City. Visit her home on the Web at SaraBlaedel.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Sara Blaedel
336 pgs. Grand Central Publishing. $26

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: