'Taut, honed and surprising' Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun Thirtysomething New Yorker Lucy Stark leads a quiet, solitary life working for a bestselling - but remarkably untalented - writer. When he dies at a villa in Tuscany, Lucy flies to Italy to settle his affairs. What begins as a grim chore soon threatens her self-reliance and her very sense of reality. In Italian Fever, Valerie Martin evokes a modern woman's headlong tumble into a world where E.M.Forster's angels feared to tread. Smart and sophisticated, this novel takes us on a journey from which we return, like Lucy, utterly changed.
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.