book cover of Mrs. Gulliver
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Mrs. Gulliver

A novel by

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.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Few have written so surprisingly, so convincinglyas Valerie Martin about sexual obsession and the perverse twistings of the human heart." - Margaret Atwood

"[Martin's] writing - so prized and clean limbed - is a marvel." - Toni Morrison

"I adore Valerie Martin, and Mrs Gulliver is no exception. Pure elegance, subtlety and wit. A triumph of a novel." - Francesca Segal

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