The Fortuna Coin

Fiction - Thriller - Psychological
305 Pages
Reviewed on 11/13/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

You can visit Karen Ann Hopkins at her website:

Karen Ann Hopkins grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. She now resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, sheep, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, pigs, dogs, and cats. Karen rescues and fosters a variety of pets and farm animals, but she also finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write. She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lives in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove her to create the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah.

Karen is currently working on her crime fiction/mystery series, Serenity's Plain Secrets, along with several new projects.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

The Fortuna Coin is a thriller-drama novel written by Karen Ann Hopkins. Recently married Wendy Catalano's life sees an abrupt end when her ex-husband, Josh Taylor, shockingly kills her new husband, Ben Engel, and her four daughters before killing himself and Wendy. However, due to an ancient coin belonging to their family, Wendy is unceremoniously transported seventeen years back to the year when she met her future killer. Plagued by visions about a yet-to-be-lived life, Wendy finds herself falling for two different men. She marries Josh, leading her toward a psychologically abusive and physically violent relationship. Meanwhile, she continues to harbor feelings for Ben, leaving him with a letter noting the momentous events in his future. Can Wendy take advantage of her second chance?

A gripping drama centered around an abusive relationship, The Fortuna Coin is a thoughtful exploration of domestic abuse and toxic relationships. Author Karen Ann Hopkins presents a raw and authentic portrayal of a woman trapped in a loveless and abusive marriage, showcasing the ways an abuser manipulates their victims to stick by them. The plot is well-paced, and you never see the twists and turns. I found Hopkins's characterization thoroughly compelling. Each character feels well-developed, with complex layers to their personalities that make them utterly absorbing to read. You find yourself rooting for Wendy all the way through. The climax feels bittersweet yet satisfying nonetheless. If you're itching for a well-written, character-driven drama that explores a vital social issue, The Fortuna Coin is the book for you.

Marie Steyn

The Fortuna Coin by Karen Ann Hopkins is a slow-paced thriller that begins when Wendy receives a special coin, a Fortuna coin, from her father on his deathbed. This coin comes from Mussomeli in Sicily and is supposed to bring happiness to those who need it most. Wendy was married for 13 years to an abusive, evil man named Josh, and all she values from the marriage are her four beautiful daughters. Her divorce was finalized three years ago and she married Ben Engel. The day after the wedding, when they were getting ready to drop off the kids at Grandma's and go on honeymoon, Josh, the ex-husband, came and shot all the kids dead. He forces Wendy into his car and chases her down an abyss, right into the water. He dies and she survives the accident, but as the water levels rise and she begins to drown, she finds herself again in the Blue River Night Club, as a 21-year-old, where she has apparently just fainted. She remembers her past as a type of deja-vu and then she meets Ben Engel…

I enjoyed the Fortuna Coin immensely. The beginning of the book was incredibly action-packed and suspenseful. Karen Ann Hopkins wrote a beautiful and riveting love story that turns into a nightmare. I also gained a lot of insight into the life of the Amish by reading The Fortuna Coin, which strongly influenced my view of them. What was striking to me was that Engel means angel in Afrikaans/Dutch and that is really what Ben was in Wendy's life. The time travel aspect was written from a very interesting point of view with the Fortuna Coin turning time back so that other and better life decisions could be made. What was clear, however, is that one does not always learn from one’s mistakes, and with a second chance to do it all over again, one tends to make exactly the same mistakes again. Remember, having children does not save relationships; it just delays the inevitable.

Ronél Steyn

Karen Ann Hopkins brings us the story of Wendy Catalano in The Fortuna Coin. Wendy has a second chance at true happiness with the love of her life. After enduring 17 years of abuse from her ex-husband, Wendy is finally where she feels she was always meant to be. Then her ex-husband snaps and kills her new husband, their four children, and finally, Wendy herself. In those last moments before death, Wendy’s attention is brought to focus on the worn-out coin she keeps as a charm on her wrist. She regains consciousness at a time in her life when the decisions she made then brought her to her own tragic end as well as those she loves. With only visions to guide her, Wendy is given a rare opportunity to make some new choices without realizing that she is reliving her own past.

The Fortuna Coin is a rare type of story that allows the reader to ponder their own life choices. All the “what if” moments we gather up for ourselves when things don’t go the way we want them to. Karen Ann Hopkins has taken a sensitive subject and created a magical work of fiction. The characters are relatable, and the development of the story is at an easy and steady pace. Written in the first person, this makes the two main characters more personal, which enhances the reading experience. Extensive editing has been done beforehand and it shows. This story is one of hope and love, second chances, and the importance of family.

Anelynde Smit

The Fortuna Coin by Karen Ann Hopkins starts with Wendy, with her husband Ben and her children being murdered by her ex-husband Josh. Then she wakes up again, only to find herself in the past. She has gotten a second chance to start her life over. She is troubled by visions and premonitions about a life before, but cannot put the pieces together until she finds a coin in a murky river. She sees a witch about it and is told that she is living a double life; that she is between two worlds and realities. Troubled by what it means, she tries to follow what she sees, hoping for happiness. Her happiness is short-lived as she sees her own death at the hands of her current husband and makes a decision to change fate. Taking action into her own hands and taking back her life, this is a story of a brave woman. It raises the question, would you do things differently if you had a second chance?

The Fortuna Coin by Karen Ann Hopkins was a really beautiful book for me personally. The story is told from two perspectives, Ben and Wendy, and how their lives intertwined even when they were apart. You could really feel the impression made on Ben by Wendy and the love that never left them. You could also relate to her struggles and her joy. The Fortuna Coin is a very empowering book, and you want things to go well for her. This book will surprise you and leave you breathless. This was a joy to read, a very easy read, with well-developed characters. It is a very deep book about life and choices.