What Belongs to You: A Powerful Story of Love, Identity, and Desire

What Belongs to You is a critically acclaimed novel written by Garth Greenwell. This groundbreaking literary work explores themes of love, identity, and desire, taking readers on a journey through the complexities of human relationships and the struggle for self-acceptance.

A Brief Summary

The story revolves around an American teacher named Mitko, who offers his services as a sex worker to make a living in Sofia, Bulgaria. The protagonist, an unnamed American narrator, becomes infatuated with Mitko and embarks on a tumultuous relationship with him.

As their complicated connection unfolds, the novel delves deep into the emotions, experiences, and power dynamics between the two main characters. It explores themes of obsession, vulnerability, and the search for intimacy in a world filled with longing and loneliness.

Critical Acclaim and Awards

What Belongs to You has received widespread acclaim from both critics and readers alike. It has been hailed as a masterful exploration of desire and the complexities of human connection. The novel was shortlisted for numerous prestigious awards, including the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

Garth Greenwell’s exquisite prose and profound insights into human nature have garnered him praise from literary enthusiasts around the world. His ability to intimately capture the nuances of emotion and desire through his characters is a testament to his exceptional storytelling prowess.

Memorable Characters

Within the pages of What Belongs to You, readers will encounter a cast of memorable characters who bring depth and richness to the story:


Mitko is a young Bulgarian man and the object of the narrator’s desire. With his enticing charm and mysterious past, Mitko becomes a central figure in the novel, captivating the narrator and readers alike.

The Unnamed American Narrator

The protagonist of the story, the unnamed American narrator, is an English teacher living in Sofia. Through his honest and introspective narration, readers are immersed in his emotional journey of self-discovery and the pursuit of love.

K., The Narrator’s Father

K. plays a significant role in the novel as the narrator’s father. Their strained relationship further explores the themes of identity and acceptance, highlighting the impact of familial ties on personal growth.


Nina is a compassionate outsider who provides the narrator with support and understanding. Her friendship offers a glimmer of hope and connection in an otherwise isolating and challenging environment.

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Are you eager to embark on a literary journey? Dive into the pages of What Belongs to You, where passion, longing, and the human spirit intertwine in a compelling narrative that will leave you captivated.

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