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Mrs. Gulliver

A Novel

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From the prize-winning and beloved author Valerie Martin (Mary Reilly, Property, Italian Fever) comes a surprisingly inventive tale of female subversion and agency in a patriarchal world, with two brilliantly crafted protagonists to root for.

It’s 1954 on far-flung Verona Island, a tropical paradise with a fragile economy and a rising crime rate. Prostitution is legal and Lila Gulliver is proud of her business, a high-end brothel where her clients are guaranteed privacy and discretion.  When Carità Bercy, a young, destitute, and beautiful blind woman arrives at her door seeking employment, Lila decides to give her a chance.

Carità proves a valuable asset to the house, as well as a psychological puzzle to her employer.  One hot night, Ian Drohan, a handsome youth and the scion of the wealthiest family on the island, visits Lila’s house and falls madly in love with Carità.  Lila doubts his sincerity and fears for Carità ‘s future.

Carità has no such fears.  In fact, Carità is a reckless force of nature, determined to succeed in ways Lila hasn’t even contemplated. 

Spirits of the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, as well as the devilish denizens of the magical island in The Tempest, haunt this steamy tale of passionate love, found and lost, and found again.
PRAISE FOR MRS. GULLIVER

"Irresistible—a funny, sexy romp that’s also smart, even wise."
—KIRKUS (Starred Review)

"Captivating...In Mrs. Gulliver, Valerie Martin offers us an idyll, perhaps even a comedy. All’s well that ends well. We hope."
—BOOKPAGE (Starred Review)

“Martin's (I Give It to You, 2020) surprisingly playful latest observes two strong-willed women as they make the best of their initially unfortunate lives… it's a pleasure to get to know both of her intelligent and resourceful heroines.”
—BOOKLIST


"This is an excellent character-written novel. You get invested in their lives, and want to read along and see what happens to them. You will not want to put this one down."
—RED CARPET CRASH


PRAISE FOR VALERIE MARTIN


“Few have written so surprisingly, so convincinglyas Valerie Martin about sexual obsessionand the perverse twistings of the human heart.”
—MARGARET ATWOOD

“[Martin’s] writing—so prized and clean limbed—is a marvel.”
—TONI MORRISON

“An enrapturing and ruthless storyteller,Valerie Martin possesses a predator’s ability to mesmerizeher prey . . . Martin’s tales of betrayal, obsession,connivance, and failure put the firepower back into art.”
—CHICAGO TRIBUNE

“The generosity of Martin’s understanding opens everycharacter to the full, astounding range of human possibility. Her revelations build mesmerizing excitement, a surprisingkindness, and an unexpected sanity in the darkness.”
—THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD

“Martin’s writing is a reward in itself, a wonderfulprecision-tool. She uses it to chisel at thehuman condition—and the effect is astonishing.”
—FINANCIAL TIMES
© Michael Lionstar
Valerie Martin is the author of 11 novels, including The Ghost of the Mary CelesteThe Confessions of Edward Day, TrespassMary ReillyItalian Fever, and Property; four collections of short fiction; and a biography of Saint Francis of Assisi entitled Salvation. She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Kafka Prize (for Mary Reilly) and Britain’s Orange Prize (for Property). View titles by Valerie Martin

About

From the prize-winning and beloved author Valerie Martin (Mary Reilly, Property, Italian Fever) comes a surprisingly inventive tale of female subversion and agency in a patriarchal world, with two brilliantly crafted protagonists to root for.

It’s 1954 on far-flung Verona Island, a tropical paradise with a fragile economy and a rising crime rate. Prostitution is legal and Lila Gulliver is proud of her business, a high-end brothel where her clients are guaranteed privacy and discretion.  When Carità Bercy, a young, destitute, and beautiful blind woman arrives at her door seeking employment, Lila decides to give her a chance.

Carità proves a valuable asset to the house, as well as a psychological puzzle to her employer.  One hot night, Ian Drohan, a handsome youth and the scion of the wealthiest family on the island, visits Lila’s house and falls madly in love with Carità.  Lila doubts his sincerity and fears for Carità ‘s future.

Carità has no such fears.  In fact, Carità is a reckless force of nature, determined to succeed in ways Lila hasn’t even contemplated. 

Spirits of the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, as well as the devilish denizens of the magical island in The Tempest, haunt this steamy tale of passionate love, found and lost, and found again.

Reviews

PRAISE FOR MRS. GULLIVER

"Irresistible—a funny, sexy romp that’s also smart, even wise."
—KIRKUS (Starred Review)

"Captivating...In Mrs. Gulliver, Valerie Martin offers us an idyll, perhaps even a comedy. All’s well that ends well. We hope."
—BOOKPAGE (Starred Review)

“Martin's (I Give It to You, 2020) surprisingly playful latest observes two strong-willed women as they make the best of their initially unfortunate lives… it's a pleasure to get to know both of her intelligent and resourceful heroines.”
—BOOKLIST


"This is an excellent character-written novel. You get invested in their lives, and want to read along and see what happens to them. You will not want to put this one down."
—RED CARPET CRASH


PRAISE FOR VALERIE MARTIN


“Few have written so surprisingly, so convincinglyas Valerie Martin about sexual obsessionand the perverse twistings of the human heart.”
—MARGARET ATWOOD

“[Martin’s] writing—so prized and clean limbed—is a marvel.”
—TONI MORRISON

“An enrapturing and ruthless storyteller,Valerie Martin possesses a predator’s ability to mesmerizeher prey . . . Martin’s tales of betrayal, obsession,connivance, and failure put the firepower back into art.”
—CHICAGO TRIBUNE

“The generosity of Martin’s understanding opens everycharacter to the full, astounding range of human possibility. Her revelations build mesmerizing excitement, a surprisingkindness, and an unexpected sanity in the darkness.”
—THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD

“Martin’s writing is a reward in itself, a wonderfulprecision-tool. She uses it to chisel at thehuman condition—and the effect is astonishing.”
—FINANCIAL TIMES

Author

© Michael Lionstar
Valerie Martin is the author of 11 novels, including The Ghost of the Mary CelesteThe Confessions of Edward Day, TrespassMary ReillyItalian Fever, and Property; four collections of short fiction; and a biography of Saint Francis of Assisi entitled Salvation. She has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as the Kafka Prize (for Mary Reilly) and Britain’s Orange Prize (for Property). View titles by Valerie Martin