Jan Vidor seems like the ideal houseguest for a long summer holiday in a Tuscan villa. Unobtrusive but not antisocial, the quiet American academic can be relied upon to entertain herself – but her aristocratic hostess Beatrice has made a terrible mistake. An offhand remark about a violent death at Villa Chiara one night during the War piques Jan’s writerly interest and sends her digging into the tragic past of the Salviati family. Does it matter if Jan just fills in the gaps? After all, Beatrice told Jan she could have the story to do as she liked with, she even said ‘I give it to you’.