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“A strong sense of place informs all of Bradford Morrow's novels... Landscape is an equally important force in his fourth work of fiction, Giovanni’s Gift, a tale of emotional growth and social conflict set against the echoing backdrop of the American West... Beautiful descriptions of scenery and weather amplify the characters' moods; the author weaves a glistening web of metaphor, with references to Pandora's box and extended passages from Hawthorne, to establish Grant's search for answers within a mythic framework. An ambitious, thoughtful book, technically accomplished and emotionally truthful.”
The Washington Post (front page)
“Morrow is a fine writer with an extraordinary feel for the physicality of fiction...his assets belong to this world—to the rendering of place, with all its hard edges, supreme possibility and tangible detail. Morrow is a landscape painter of contemporary fiction; like his counterparts of a century ago, he evokes a certain mood and even momentum, or narrative thrust, by the scenes he chooses. Like its predecessor, Trinity Fields, Giovanni’s Gift belongs to the West: to its vast skies and towering laws, to the land's Edenic promise that can turn spooky and pernicious at the drop of the sun. Morrow knows how creeks flow and how roads wash out and how valleys, if you walk far enough, become mountain paths; it is this patience, this careful and palpable grasp of the land, that results in such a fully imagined world. I was touched by the heart of the novel and the great regard of it's creator for the land and the sky.”
The Boston Globe (front page) 
“Morrow is a profoundly American novelist [with a] commanding feel for place. Giovanni’s Gift is as well paced and suspenseful as any good thriller...there is also a satisfying bravura to Morrow’s appropriation of the Pandora myth and his evocation of Hawthorne’s stories for children...a brisk, extremely appealing tale about characters whom we gladly grand our close attention if not often our respect.”
The Miami Herald (front page)

“A cannonball, a skillfully plotted retelling of the Pandora myth—with the formal cadences of Henry James. What I like best about Morrow’s work is its richness—Joycean subtexts and gleefully hidden references that do not get in the way of the narrative’s urgency.”

New York Magazine


“Compelling and visceral, Giovanni’s Gift reveals a new facet in Bradford Morrow’s crystalline canon. It’s simple, honest, emotionally direct, and packs a wallop.”
Boston Herald
“One finishes Giovanni’s Gift agog at the layers of meaning and the intellectual notions Morrow has touched on within the context of a warm, engrossing story.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer


“A deft mix of myth and reality recounted in rich prose that is full of romantic vision. An insightful examination of roots and heritage, this novel takes a hard looks at the complexity and responsibility of relationships (between husbands and wives, parents and children, lovers and enemies), and the often fragile nature of just being human.”

The Denver Post

“An absorbing read...Giovanni’s Gift is a lushly written tale of intrigue inspired by the myth of Pandora’s box, which pulls you in from its opening pages.”

The Seattle Times

“Lyrical, loaded with literary themes, and ultimately rewarding. Bradford Morrow is a novelist fascinated by secrets whose characters devote equal energy to hiding the truth about themselves and uncovering the truth about others. The story that ensures is an operatic romance wrapped in a murder mystery contained within a gothic family saga...vastly satisfying.”

The Portland Oregonian
“Bradford Morrow has reinvented the suspense novel as one of relentless self-analysis and discovery, in which the very landscape, of the remote, rural Western mountains, is a powerful presence. Giovanni’s Gift dramatizes the myth of Pandora’s box with ingenuity, intelligence, and a heartening emotional warmth.”
—Joyce Carol Oates

“Giovanni’s Gift is about powerful observations about life and love. Morrow’s writing is evocative and compelling.”

—Virginian Pilot


“Few books I have read over the past few years exert the emotional pull of Bradford Morrow’s beautifully crafted novel Giovanni’s Gift—a delight from its opening pages, in which the calm of an old couple’s ranch is shattered by a cacophony of mysterious nighttime music, to the denouement where a complex web of relationships is unravelled.”
Oxford Mail (UK)
“There is a mystery here—a lovely, literate mystery—in this, Morrow’s fourth work of fiction. Giovanni’s Gift is a warm retreat on a winter’s night, offering both the pleasure of deduction and the illumination of potent prose.”
The New York Daily News
“Bradford Morrow’s absorbing emotional detective novel...takes the time-honoured literary form to explore a perennial subject, the inscrutability of human motives, and in doing so, emerges as a work which should appeal to devotees of both American mainstream fiction and Ruth Rendell.”
Times Literary Supplement
“Epic drama meets literary thriller—a novel with the vitality to do justice to both.”
Arena (UK)
“Complex and highly charged. An elegant unveiling of the dark secrets that often lie submerged beneath grim events, from the novelist whose earlier inclinations towards the gothic seem to have reached full flower."
Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“An absorbing tale...the book's lush prose is rich with threat and suspense. The erotic sparks and notes of intrigue that Helen stirs up with Grant are heady, beguiling stuff. An arresting work from an adventurous writer. In juggling of the conventions of gothic fiction Morrow finds an enticingly unsettling contemporary home for them.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“An engaging mystery, a beautifully written and well-plotted novel, a gothic story of darkness and light, of love lost and, perchance, regained.”
The Chicago Tribune
“A literate, sophisticated thriller. Morrow is writing about the lives we live behind our public faces.”

—Detroit Free Press


“‘In the country, silence is the harbinger of change,’ we are told in this heart-stopping novel about how night visitors intrude upon the a scene of natural beauty with evil in their hearts. More than a thriller or whodunit, this fourth novel of a highly gifted writer has elements of the uncanny, the absurd, the impossible, the fantastic. A fine, rich novel.”

Birmingham Post (UK)


Giovanni’s Gift—a fiction with crime at its centre—is a fine piece of writing...the crime genre today is so broad and welcoming that this entrancing mystery fits in just perfectly. The unhurried prose is full of sights, sounds, tastes, and smells, the characters and plot are unfailingly intriguing, and the whole is a memorable synthesis of the internal and the external.”

—Morning Star (UK)


“The book has all of a thriller’s momentum and complexity, but in Morrow’s hands the genre dilates to include a host of auxiliary themes and phenomena—the mountain landscape, the figure of Pandora’s box, the ties of love and family, violence, secrecy—each of which receives the author’s own gift of elucidation, reflection, and description. The book is a wonder and a pleasure, and it should bring the author some long overdue attention.”



Giovanni’s Gift is a deft mixture of myth and real-life experiences, recounted in rich prose full of romantic vision. Insightful.”

San Antonio Express News


“Once again, from Morrow, something atavistic, adroit, symphonic, complex, ingenious, delicate, sexy, profound. This is his most Jamesian novel. If there are any good readers still around, each one of them should have this book to delighted in and pore over.”

—Paul West

“Underlying the horror is an emotional journey which is all the more rewarding because, for most of the book, we do not even realise we are making it. This is spine-tingling stuff, and Morrow’s sensuous prose curdles the blood very effectively.”

—Sunday Telegraph (UK)


“A novel of puzzles and passions. The vast landscape that Morrow describes so beautifully in Giovanni’s Gift acts as both a balm and a stimulant for the protagonist. This is not a classic whodunit. Morrow doesn’t insult our intelligence with some convoluted plot twist. Skillfully weaving the idea of the Pandora myth with this story of desire and secrets is one of Morrow’s great achievements with Giovanni’s Gift, making it a literary thriller a cut above the rest.”

—Santa Fe New Mexican

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