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Trespass by Valerie Martin


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Trespass is a beautifully written and complex tale of love, jealousy, transgression, forgiveness, identity, and war. Brendan and Chloe Dale are the epitome of upper middle-class America living a very comfortable life in rural upstate New York. All seems well until their son, Toby, a student at NYU, returns home with his new girlfriend and Croatian refugee, Salome. Chloe is immediately suspicious of her son’s new-found love and in return Salome displays hostility towards Toby’s parents. The mistrust and tension is heightened when Salome falls pregnant. We are then drawn into Salome’s violent and war-torn past which is cleverly juxtaposed against the backdrop of middle-class America. As the book’s title suggests the story is about invasion on many different levels and, in particular, how each individual character deals with their own personal intrusions. It makes for a very thought-provoking read indeed.

If you like Valerie Martin you might also like to read books by Toni Morrison, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ann Patchett.


Trespass by Valerie Martin

Toby and Salome are a young, modern couple living in New York, but their backgrounds are world apart. He is a middle-class all-American boy from a family of academics; she is a Croatian refugee raised in New Orleans.

When Salome unexpectedly becomes pregnant, they decide to spend their lives together and hastily marry. But finding a way to reconcile their families and pasts proves a difficult task. Toby's mother's deep-seated mistrust of Salome causes tension, leaving her unable to accept her new daughter-in-law. But Salome' s past, full of dangerous secrets, is more horrifying than any of them could imagine - and the violence that destroyed her homeland is far from over...


Valerie Martin writes beautifully and this novel is often moving and heartfelt.'

'TRESPASS is exquisitely balanced between a family story and a novel of ideas.'
David Robinson, THE SCOTSMAN

'A masterly tale of transgresson, acceptance, diplomacy, war, class conflict, love, forgiveness and jealousy...... the journey is povocative and exhilarating.' Sarah Emily Miano, THE TIMES

About the Author

Valerie Martin is the author of two collections of short fiction and six novels, including Italian Fever, The Great Divorce and Mary Reilly [the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde story, from the viewpoint of a housemaid] which was filmed with Julia Roberts and John Malkovich. Her most recent book is a non-fiction work about St Francis of Assisi: Salvation: Scenes from the Life of St Francis. She lives in upstate New York.

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Book Info

Publication date

10th July 2008


Valerie Martin

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Orion Publishing Co


320 pages


Literary Fiction
Family Drama
Reading Groups
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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