Paperbacks: Trespass, by Valerie Martin

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The Independent Culture

At the centre of Valerie Martin's new novel is the kind of character that many of her readers will find it easy to identify with. Chloe Dale is a successful book illustrator, liberal in outlook but privately judgemental. As the novel opens, she's being introduced to her only son's new girlfriend, Salome, a Croatian refugee.

Chloe suspects her of being a gold-digger and her worst fears are confirmed when, not long after, Salome becomes pregnant. In a novel that keeps shifting the moral ground – there's a secondary narrative describing life during the Bosnian genocide – Martin asks Chloe, and her readers, to reassess some more covert prejudices.