The Girl at the Doorby Veronica Raimo
Called “the first post-Weinstein novel” by Vanity Fair Italy, The Girl at the Door is a riveting story of lust, power, and betrayal
Miden is a society built from the ground up. Commissions dedicated to fairness, equality, and mindful living have been created following “the Crash,” and Miden, an island apart from the wreckage, has risen from the ashes of society as we know it. While on vacation in this oasis, a seemingly aimless woman meets an attractive man, and soon after she moves to the island to start a new life with him.
Six months pregnant and just beginning to feel comfortable in her lover’s space, she feels as though she may have finally found ownership of her life – until the day the girl arrives. Slight and pretty, the girl discloses a drawn out and violent affair she’s had with her professor, the father of the woman’s child. In alternating perspectives, the professor and his pregnant girlfriend reflect upon their own lives, each other, and their interloper. As the powers that be gather testimony and consider the case, the couple is forced to confront their own paranoia, fetishes, and transgressions in light of the student’s accusations.
As their idyllic society grapples with the scandal, boundaries blur and alliances shift as reputation, truth, and self-preservation threaten to upend their relationship. Provocative and unnerving, The Girl at the Door explores the bureaucracy of a scandal, and the thin line between lust and possession. In an age in which blunt power and fickle nuance take turns upon the stage, Raimo has delivered an unflinching exploration of the politics and power of sex.
“Perfection is not such a beautiful place when you look at it too closely, and Veronica Raimo here enlightens its depths with elegant, mesmerizing and merciless writing.”—La Repubblica
“[The Girl at the Door] talks about harassment, consensus, populism and vigilantism, but also about what we feel when our actions are analyzed from outside and we become characters in someone else’s narrative.”—Forbes Italia
“Raimo’s novel will enrich the debate on the most current contemporary issues and at the same time belongs to the international literary scene that today can talk about emotions, individuals and sex in the most interesting and stylistically innovative way: from Catherine Lacey to Sally Rooney.”—Vice Italy
“[The Girl at the Door] is catching and convincing. Veronica Raimo is probably the most emblematic interpreter of fiction exploring the reality of sexual harassment.”—L’Espresso
“A surprising novel, as surprising is the setting where it takes place… A novel with an international appeal, we would just love to read more books like this.”—Rolling Stone Italy
“In this mysterious and seductive novel, Raimo bravely gives no answers… [The Girl at the Door] is a novel about doubt: its fascination and its fear.”—La Stampa
“A world which reminds one of Disgrace by Coetzee, but here it’s a woman and her anguish at the core of everything. All our certainties collapse, and so collapses the idea we have of ourselves.”—Corriere della sera
I was in my sixth month when the girl came knocking.
I’d gotten used to visits at home, almost as if I were sick. In a certain sense I was, a languid infirmity that had me spending the days doing nothing. The doctors prescribed a lot of rest. The challenge was to find new ways of resting.
It was always the others who were coming to me. I’d learned how to re-ceive them. People passed by to ask me how I was, give me advice and bring me books on motherhood with covers so ugly I didn’t know where to hide them. If they didn’t bring me books, then they came with something to eat. At times it was something potentially toxic, so along with their kindness came a heartfelt self-reproach: “How stupid of me! Tiramsu… raw eggs! How could I not have thought about it!”
The girl came empty handed. On the threshold, her hair down, her jeans tight, just the way I used to wear before the visitors came to replenish my stock of maternity pants. I was constantly hiding stuff those days.
“Are you the professor’s wife?” the girl asked me.
“Girlfriend, um… partner,” I specified, even though it embarrassed me to use that term. It felt like I was putting on airs.
“I have to speak to you,” she said.