I Give It to You: Book summary and reviews of I Give It to You by Valerie Martin

I Give It to You

by Valerie Martin

I Give It to You by Valerie Martin X
I Give It to You by Valerie Martin
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  • Published Aug 2020
    304 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

A timeless story of family, war, art, and betrayal set around an ancient, ancestral home in the Tuscan countryside from bestselling novelist Valerie Martin.

When Jan, an American academic, rents an apartment in a Tuscan villa for the summer, she plans to spend her break writing a biography of Mussolini. Instead, she finds herself captivated by her hostess, the elegant, acerbic Beatrice. Beatrice's family ties to Villa Chiara and the land on which it stands extend back generations, although the family has fallen on hard times since WWII and the fate of the property is uncertain. But it is rich in stories, and Jan becomes intrigued by an account of Beatrice's uncle, who was mysteriously killed on the grounds at the conclusion of the war. Did he die at the hands of the invading Americans, or was he murdered by his countrymen for his political opinions?

Beatrice, a student of American literature, proves to be a beguiling storyteller and a sharp critic; she and Jan keep in touch after that summer, and a fierce friendship forms. As the years go on, Jan finds she can't help but write Beatrice's story, a decision that opens up questions of ownership and loyalty and leads to a major betrayal.

Thrumming with tension, informed by history, and exploring themes of duty, destiny, art, and friendship, I Give It to You is Valerie Martin at the top of her game.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Martin parses personal and social politics with methodical care and a reserved tone reminiscent of Edith Wharton." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Martin's engrossing tale explores relationships among family members and workers over four generations, occasionally in a rambling manner, though the prose remains alluring. Martin's masterly descriptions of the villa and its gardens are transportive...a thought-provoking reflection on writing, friendship, family, and betrayal." - Publishers Weekly

"Valerie Martin has always been a consummate storyteller, but in her new novel she tackles the question of where do a writer's stories come from. And to whom does a story belong? The person it happened to or the one who tells it. In some ways all writers betray their subjects, and Valerie Martin digs into the heart of that betrayal. Reminiscent of Rachel Cusk's Outline Martin masterfully gives voice to those who have been silenced, whose stories would be lost were it not for a writer to retell it." - Mary Morris, author of Gateway to the Moon

This information about I Give It to You was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Valerie Martin Author Biography

Valerie Martin is the author of eleven novels, including Trespass, Mary Reilly, Italian Fever, and Property, four collections of short fiction, and a biography of St. Francis of Assisi. She has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Kafka Prize (for Mary Reilly) and Britain's Orange Prize (for Property).

Valerie Martin's most recent novel The Ghost of the Mary Celeste was published by Nan A. Talese/Random House in 2014, and is now available in paper from Vintage. Sea Lovers, a volume of new and selected short fiction, also from Nan A. Talese, was published in August of 2015.

Two volumes of a trilogy for middle-grade readers Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea and Anton and Cecil: Cats on Track, co-written with ...

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Link to Valerie Martin's Website

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