Jan Vidor seems like the ideal tenant for a long summer holiday in a Tuscan villa. Unobtrusive and quietly sociable, the American academic can be relied upon to entertain herself - but her aristocratic landlady Beatrice has made a terrible mistake. A chance remark about a violent death at Villa Chiara during the war piques Jan's writerly interest and sends her digging into the Salviati family's tragic past. Was Beatrice's uncle Sandro really mistaken for a partisan, or was his killer someone closer to home? Does it matter if Jan just fills in the gaps? After all, Beatrice said she could do as she liked with the story, she even said 'I give it to you' . . . Written with a deep understanding of loyalty and temptation, I Give It To You is a riveting novel about who owns a story, whether we have a right to what we inherit, and what a gift really means.
Martin writes with amplitude, precision, grace and wit -- Margaret Atwood She always produces something unexpected and revelatory -- Jane Smiley Martin's writing is a reward in itself, a wonderful precision-tool. She uses it to chisel at the human condition - and the effect is astonishing * Financial Times * 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 Valerie Martin is a fleet-footed writer; you never quite know where she'll go next * Observer * An Italian villa and the family that owns it capture the imagination of an American writer in Martin's intimate, disquieting latest ... Martin's engrossing tale explores relationships among family members and workers over four generations ... Martin's masterly descriptions of the villa and its gardens are transportive. Evoking the charms and complexities of 20th-century Italy, Martin offers a thought-provoking reflection on writing, friendship, family, and betrayal. * Publishers Weekly * Yes, the narrator of Martin's new novel is a middle-aged American woman vacationing in Tuscany, but this prickly, uncomfortably relevant dive into personal and societal ethics is no escapist romance... Martin parses personal and social politics with methodical care and a reserved tone reminiscent of Edith Wharton. * Kirkus, starred review *