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Villa America by Liza Klaussmann

Villa America

A Novel

by Liza Klaussmann
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  • First Published:
  • Aug 4, 2015
  • Paperback:
  • Jun 2016
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Diane S.

Villa America
The novels of the Jazz Age have such a special atmosphere if done well. This age produced so many fine writers and artists whose works endure even now. Gerald and Sara Murphy are a couple I had read about in other novels but really didn't know very much about. In this novel, Klaussmann centers on this time period by focusing on their relationship, their friends, their struggles and the wonderful time they had at Villa America in the French Rivera.

The Murphy's were friends, were well liked by Dom Passos, Hemingway, Pauline and Hadley, the Fitzgeralds, Cole Porter Picasso and many others. All are included in this book. The book starts with Gerald's and Sara's childhood, and moves on to their marriage, their family and why they built Villa America. There they were golden, happy, loved, threw parties, made trips, attended the bull fight and running of the bulls with the Hemingways and tried to be the best they could be. I am always amazed at the prodigious amount of alcohol they all drank.

This book is well and atmospherically written. A time of excess, of divorces and changing relationships, yet the Murphy's stayed together and raised their family. So much of it is based on real people and things that happened to them and with them. The Gerald's time in the sun would come to an end, domestic heartbreaks would send them away from Villa America, never to return. The ending of the book is one I loved, though some may not, I thought it was brilliant. An authors note, detailing where facts were sourced and what was real and what was fiction is included. Like all good books this book will lead me to three others, one Tender is the Night, is apparently modeled after and dedicated to the Murphys. Also a few nonfiction books mentioned by the author in the afterword. Recommend for all fans of this time period, the Great Gatsby and any of the others mentioned in my review. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am sorry it ended.
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