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Trespass (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback – September 23, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Given Salome's youth, attractiveness and background, there is no way for Chloe to win this contest and both women know it. How can a mother's love compete with the horrors of Bosnia and an intuitive understanding on Salome's part that the world gives you nothing if you don't take it for yourself. Salome understands her unique opportunity, a survivor, Toby a willing coconspirator who readily asks his parents for financial aid so the couple can get an apartment together at the university. At Salome's urging, Toby has no trouble accepting Brendan's credit card, raised to expect such generosity from his parents, although they are not rich. Vicariously thrilled with his son's conquest, Brendan bonds with Toby, man to man; Chloe retreats to her studio and her work on the images for Bronte's Wuthering Heights, worrying about the encroachment of a poacher on their land, an immigrant of indeterminate origin.Read more ›
Brendan and Chloe Dale live an hour and a half from NYC, in the Catskill Mountains. They own ten acres that include a posted woods where an immigrant hunter persistently trespasses and tries to shoot deer, aggravating and unsettling Chloe. Chloe illustrates books, and her current commission, which she is painstakingly researching, is a special edition of WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Brendan is professor writing about Frederick of Hohenstaufen, a thirteenth-century emperor rather neglected by history. Their son, Toby, is an honors student at New York University who meets and falls for Salome Drago, a volatile, abrasive young woman of Catholic Croatian descent who is also attending NYU. Salome was a child when she and her father and brothers fled their Balkans homeland during the ethnic cleansing. Right from their first meeting, Salome and Chloe squabble and skirmish.
In TRESPASS, Martin sets scene after scene to illustrate the shifting sands of culture, class, and civilization, including unflinching sections told by someone who remained in the festering, furious Balkans after Salome and most of her family escaped. This italic narrator relates the horrors witnessed and personally suffered as Yugoslavia violently dissolved into constituent, primarily ethnic states.Read more ›
So far, so good. Then the author throws in a monkey wrench - by having Chloe die of a stroke. Blink!! The whole storyline shifts to Croatia, where Salome suddenly flys to find her mother who she thinks might be still alive after the Serbian/Croatian war. Toby follows and then Brendan and this new situation becomes the focus of the book until its ending. I found the book totally unsatisfying. It didn't follow through with its premise - that of trespass, by probable and threatening persons and situations.
The removal of a central character in this novel ruins everything. The tension drains from the story like air from a punctured balloon. Thereafter, the plot drifts, story lines are left to wither, and the entire exercise feels a bit futile. The book is nicely written, but I can't help but think the energy and mood of the first two-thirds could have carried through to some pivotal confrontation and then, perhaps, to a discernible point.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well written, very much in the American genre, like Jonathon Franzen and Jeffery Eugenides. A good story line about relationships , in particular mother/ daughter in law.Published on December 25, 2012 by Susan Mabin
This book is a waste of time because of the large amount of fluff that fills out the paragraphs. Martin cannot decide what this book is about and kills off a main character for... Read morePublished on November 27, 2011 by MARTYWME
Valerie Martin is a wonderful writer, and "Trespass" is a book that is well worth the read, if only to slide through her expert language use. Read morePublished on August 18, 2009 by J. Dougherty McGee
After having bought the book based on good reviews rather than reading a paragraph or two, I knew I was in trouble when the first paragraph was one long, confusing sentence. Read morePublished on December 23, 2008 by PatCali500
I never give 5 stars, but I think this book is worth it. Great characters, a variety of locales, literary references that were on the verge of overdrawn but good in the end, and... Read morePublished on November 24, 2008 by Daniel Holland
This is an interesting book with an interesting plot and characters. I liked Valerie Martin's writing style and her attention to details in creating the characters and their... Read morePublished on June 20, 2008 by Deepa Paranjpe
This is more a reaction to the publisher's description, the blurb on the back of the recording I listened to, and the reviewer above who says only poor Chloe fails to assimilate. Read morePublished on March 24, 2008 by Adeba
This book, about a middle aged couple and their son, starts out with promise but falls apart before it ends. Read morePublished on March 24, 2008 by J. L. Rubenking
288 pages of rambling, and yet I never cared about any of the characters. I skipped pages. This should have been a short story written in 100 pages. Very disappointing. Read morePublished on March 6, 2008 by T. L. Preble