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Villa America by Liza Klaussmann
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Villa America

by Liza Klaussmann

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The Golden Age of 1920's cultural scene is well revealed in this novel with main characters Sara and Gerald Murphy whose friends include F.Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemmingway,. Wealth and it's lifestyle in France dominates this novel as does marriage, homosexuality, drinking and family.
I did find that the middle section dragged on and then at the end the conclusion is rushed as if the author quickly decided to finish it. ( )
  Smits | May 12, 2017 |
Gave up. Predictable and wooden set up of london society and then WW2 links.
  MarilynKinnon | Apr 25, 2017 |
Am I the only one to find these "fascinating" characters less than fascinating? Aside from the circles in which they revolve, with the famous people they hobnob with, what's so interesting about them?

In addition, the characters and their conflicts I found irritating after a while. They have money, they have luxurious lifestyles, they paint, they bathe, they drink. I didn't find their crises, such as they were -- am I bisexual? I love my wife but I have to have my fling -- all that compelling. ( )
  ChayaLovesToRead | Feb 28, 2017 |
Best Bits of the Lost Generation

Liza Klaussmann has done a terrific job in concentrating the lives of Sara and Gerald Murphy into their most dramatic decade of the 1920's when they "invented" the Riviera and played host to everyone from Hadley, Pauline and Ernest Hemingway, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, Olga and Pablo Picasso, Ada and Archibald MacLeish, John Dos Passos and many others.

Gerald's possible repressed bisexuality is given an invented character of pilot Owen Chambers to fall in love with. This serves to create an additional dramatic tension whereas otherwise the tale might focus too much on a life of "dinner-flowers-gala."

Klassmann has a lot of sources to choose from given how well documented Hemingway's and Fitzgerald's lives are. It was especially great to see Zelda's infamous one-line review of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises: "a lot of bullfighting, bull slinging and bullshitting.”

Further recommended reading on the Murphys:
Living Well Is the Best Revenge by Calvin Tomkins
Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy: A Lost Generation Love Story by Amanda Vaill ( )
  alanteder | Sep 6, 2016 |
Gerald and Sara Murphy came of age in the 1920’s, hosting extravagant parties in their Villa America estate on the French Riviera with family friends like Ernest Hemingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and many others. After spending their youth as outsiders laced into a form of conventionality by their parents and society, their new way of living freely was a way to recoup those lost years.

Despite outward appearances, all is not as it seems in the Murphy household as secrets are eating away at their foundation. Scott and Ernest create dramas of their own while Owen Chambers, a handsome American pilot with a tragic story, is soon irretrievably mixed in with Gerald and Sara’s confusing lives with unfortunate results.

I found Villa America to be as long on the discussions and short on the action as Owen described it to Gerald. Before I was halfway through reading it I was as tired of the Murphy way of living as was Owen.

The book had its moments but, in general, I wasn’t a fan. Therefore I will leave it up to you to decide if you want to read it or not.

Book review link: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2015/12/24/villa-america-liza-klaussmann/ ( )
  sunshinealma | Dec 24, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316211362, Hardcover)

A dazzling novel set in the Cap D'Antibes based on the real-life inspirations for Fitzgerald's Tender is The Night.

In this gorgeous, glamorous, and affecting novel, Liza Klaussmann does for Sara and Gerald Murphy what Paula McLain and Michael Cunningham did for Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf in The Paris Wife and The Hours. Villa America was in fact a real house on the French Riviera that Sara and Gerald Murphy built to escape to in the 1920's. Members of a group of expat Americans, they were known for their fabulous parties and for making the Riviera into the glamorous place it is today. Their freewheeling days were filled with champagne and caviar, but these were people who kept secrets and who were, of course, heartbreakingly human.

This is a stunning story about the Lost Generation, about a marriage, about a golden age which could not last.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:07 -0400)

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