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Villa America: A Novel
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Published:
Little, Brown and Company 2015
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Description
A dazzling novel set in the French Riviera based on the real-life inspirations for F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is The Night.
When Sara Wiborg and Gerald Murphy met and married, they set forth to create a beautiful world together-one that they couldn't find within the confines of society life in New York City. They packed up their children and moved to the South of France, where they immediately fell in with a group of expats, including Hemingway, Picasso, and Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald.
On the coast of Antibes they built Villa America, a fragrant paradise where they invented summer on the Riviera for a group of bohemian artists and writers who became deeply entwined in each other's affairs. There, in their oasis by the sea, the Murphys regaled their guests and their children with flamboyant beach parties, fiery debates over the newest ideas, and dinners beneath the stars.
It was, for a while, a charmed life, but these were people who kept secrets, and who beneath the sparkling veneer were heartbreakingly human. When a tragic accident brings Owen, a young American aviator who fought in the Great War, to the south of France, he finds himself drawn into this flamboyant circle, and the Murphys find their world irrevocably, unexpectedly transformed.
A handsome, private man, Owen intrigues and unsettles the Murphys, testing the strength of their union and encouraging a hidden side of Gerald to emerge. Suddenly a life in which everything has been considered and exquisitely planned becomes volatile, its safeties breached, the stakes incalculably high. Nothing will remain as it once was.
Liza Klaussman expertly evokes the 1920s cultural scene of the so-called "Lost Generation." Ravishing and affecting, and written with infinite tenderness, VILLA AMERICA is at once the poignant story of a marriage and of a golden age that could not last.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/04/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316365901
ASIN:
B00P74VGCK
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Liza Klaussmann. (2015). Villa America: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Liza Klaussmann. 2015. Villa America: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Liza Klaussmann, Villa America: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Liza Klaussmann. Villa America: A Novel. Little, Brown and Company, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:05:52
Date Updated:
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shortDescription
A dazzling novel set in the French Riviera based on the real-life inspirations for F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is The Night.
When Sara Wiborg and Gerald Murphy met and married, they set forth to create a beautiful world together-one that they couldn't find within the confines of society life in New York City. They packed up their children and moved to the South of France, where they immediately fell in with a group of expats, including Hemingway, Picasso, and Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald.
On the coast of Antibes they built Villa America, a fragrant paradise where they invented summer on the Riviera for a group of bohemian artists and writers who became deeply entwined in each other's affairs. There, in their oasis by the sea, the Murphys regaled their guests and their children with flamboyant beach parties, fiery debates over the newest ideas, and dinners beneath the stars.
It was, for a while, a charmed life, but these were people who kept secrets,...
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title
Villa America
fullDescription
A dazzling novel set in the French Riviera based on the real-life inspirations for F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is The Night.
When Sara Wiborg and Gerald Murphy met and married, they set forth to create a beautiful world together-one that they couldn't find within the confines of society life in New York City. They packed up their children and moved to the South of France, where they immediately fell in with a group of expats, including Hemingway, Picasso, and Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald.
On the coast of Antibes they built Villa America, a fragrant paradise where they invented summer on the Riviera for a group of bohemian artists and writers who became deeply entwined in each other's affairs. There, in their oasis by the sea, the Murphys regaled their guests and their children with flamboyant beach parties, fiery debates over the newest ideas, and dinners beneath the stars.
It was, for a while, a charmed life, but these were people who kept secrets, and who beneath the sparkling veneer were heartbreakingly human. When a tragic accident brings Owen, a young American aviator who fought in the Great War, to the south of France, he finds himself drawn into this flamboyant circle, and the Murphys find their world irrevocably, unexpectedly transformed.
A handsome, private man, Owen intrigues and unsettles the Murphys, testing the strength of their union and encouraging a hidden side of Gerald to emerge. Suddenly a life in which everything has been considered and exquisitely planned becomes volatile, its safeties breached, the stakes incalculably high. Nothing will remain as it once was.
Liza Klaussman expertly evokes the 1920s cultural scene of the so-called "Lost Generation." Ravishing and affecting, and written with infinite tenderness, VILLA AMERICA is at once the poignant story of a marriage and of a golden age that could not last.
sortTitle
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crossRefId
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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 29, 2015
        Klaussmann’s second novel (after Tigers in Red Weather) chronicles a real-life couple whose titular villa was the nucleus of 1920s American social life. After an unconventional courtship that spans Gerald’s service in World War I, upper-crust Americans Sara and Gerald Murphy make their home at Cap d’Antibes in the south of France, where Gerald pursues an art career and their frequent summer parties on the Riviera draw much attention. Though Cole Porter, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and the Fitzgeralds are guests, the Murphys’ favorite is Owen Chambers, an attractive young cargo pilot from rural New England who becomes a fixture in Sara and Gerald’s guest house and a close confidant of both Murphys, but especially Gerald, whose relationship with Owen throws his entire life into a tailspin. Propelled by the drama-filled foibles of nearly every prominent lost generation figure a history buff could wish for, Klaussmann’s atmospheric prose contains a treasure trove of trivia for fans of the era. Though the central conflicts and emotions are relatively slow to emerge and seem a little buried under lavish descriptions of the Murphys’ opulent digs, readers who are looking for a trip back in time will find this an ideal beach read.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2015
        Another sensitive fictional portrait of a complicated marriage from the author of Tigers in Red Weather (2012). This time Klaussmann has real-life models: Gerald and Sara Murphy, whose 1920s golden years on the French Riviera inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night. Her novel begins with Gerald's loveless childhood in 1890s Manhattan; a harrowing chapter about the loss of his adored dog lays the groundwork for his bond with Sara, first seen as a bored post-debutante in pre-World War I London. Their early love is touchingly depicted as shared desire for a life "entirely of our own creation," which is what they achieve at the eponymous Cap d'Antibes villa. Klaussmann makes good use of several fine biographies of the Murphys (cited in an author's note) to capture the magic of a privileged, bohemian existence dedicated to the pleasures of fine food and drink, friendship, and self-expression through the elegant, idiosyncratic clothes they wear and their beautiful home furnishings. She also draws on nonfictional references to Gerald's ambiguous sexuality to imagine a passionate affair with pilot Owen Chambers, an invented character. Down-to-earth Owen offers a reality check on the nonstop house parties with famous friends (Scott and Zelda, Ernest, Cole, and many more of the usual Lost Generation suspects): "The spectacle and the costumes...the endless conversations about ideas, and the misunderstandings. Could you live without that?" Owen asks. Probably not; Gerald remains devoted to Sara (who knows more than she will admit about him and Owen) and the world they've fashioned. Their son Patrick's struggle with tuberculosis brings an end to the halcyon days at Villa America. A welter of letters chronicling the Murphys' ordeal slightly blurs the novel's focus in later chapters but also testifies to the profound, enduring affection they prompted in all who knew them. A closing vignette poignantly revisits the couple in the heyday of their campaign to make life as beautiful as their dreams. Beautifully written and surprisingly fresh given the well-worn subject matter.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from July 1, 2015
        Gerald and Sara Murphy are best remembered as the inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel Tender Is the Night. Klaussmann takes a biographically oriented approach to the well-off, alluringly unconventional expat couple and their charmed circle in this psychologically lush and gorgeously descriptive fictionalization. She instantly snares readers' sympathetic attention with poor-little-rich-boy scenes from Gerald's wretched youth, during which his artistic leanings are scorned as effeminate, though not by beautiful, strong, sensuous Sara. They marry, have three adored children, and find paradise on the French Riviera in their home, Villa America. Gerald paints while Sara reigns as a goddess of lavish pleasures, hosting the Fitzgeralds, the Hemingways, and the Picassos. Klaussmann's portrayals of these iconic figures are as fresh and stirring as a sea breeze, while one of her most compelling characters, Owen, a WWI hero and pilot who finally and truly liberates Gerald, is wholly imagined. As disruptive love, betrayal, and cruel fate slowly gain cyclonic force, Klaussmann brings to scintillating and searing life scenes as wildly diverse as a dust storm, trench warfare, the bliss of being airborne above the radiant French countryside, the brittle gaiety of Sara's galas, and forbidden sexual bliss. In literary accord with Paula McLain, Nancy Horan, and Susan Vreeland, Klaussmann presents an enrapturing historical novel about a loving marriage complicated by suppressed desire in a time of now-legendary creative ferment.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2015

        Former New York Times reporter Klaussmann delighted us with her 2012 debut, Tigers in Red Weather, about a post-World War II marital crisis with classy, sun-streaked Martha's Vineyard as backdrop. Here she ambitiously chooses to retell the glorious French Riviera days of Sara and Gerald Murphy, those joie de vivre expats whom F. Scott Fitzgerald immortalized in Tender Is the Night. Serious fun, and Klaussmann should pull it off; Tigers was an international best seller for which she won a British National Book Award and the Elle Grand Prix for Fiction, and she was named Amazon UK's Rising Star of the Year in 2012. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
A Novel
popularity
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publisher
Little, Brown and Company
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