Villa America

by Liza Klaussmann | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 978-0-316-211 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Aberpeter of Renton, Washington USA on 1/25/2024
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Aberpeter from Renton, Washington USA on Thursday, January 25, 2024
from inside the book jacket:

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 New York society. 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 the Murphys built Villa America, an oasis by the sea, where they entertained their guests 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.

Suddenly a life in which everything has been considered and exquisitely planned becomes volatile, its safeties breached, the stakes incredibly high. Nothing will remain as it once was.

Liza Klaussmann expertly evokes the 1920s cultural scene of the so-called Lost Generation. Lavishing 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.

Journal Entry 2 by Aberpeter at Renton, Washington USA on Tuesday, January 30, 2024
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but what I read wasn't it.

From the blurb inside the book jacket, I was expecting something Great Gatsby like; probably because the Murphys were friends with the Fitzgeralds. But this book was not just about Villa America, the home the Murphys built in the French Riviera where they threw lavish parties and entertained guests, but rather, this historical fiction was about the Murphys.

The book started as somewhat of a love story. Sara and Gerald are each raised in high-society New York. They meet and fall in love and want more out of life that what New York has to offer. The first part of the book is written in such a way that the reader is taken into the thoughts of Sara and Gerald. As a reader you understand their motivations and desires.

After Sara and Gerald move to France, the story moves away from Sara and Gerald and encompasses their entire social circle and the antics of their friends. For a few years, Sara and Gerald seem to be the nucleus of this group, hosting guests and throwing big parties.

As this phase of their life comes to an end, the style of writing changes again and the author tells most of the remaining story through a series of letters written to and by various people who have been friends with the Murphys over the years. Some of the letters are written by either Sara or Gerald, but many of the letters are written from one acquaintance to another, and within their letters, they tell news of the Murphys.

It is the style of writing, which wasn't consistent, that bothered me. There is an author's note at the end of the book where she discusses how she did her research and all the letters she read and tried to incorporate into the novel. After reading the author's note, I felt as if the author had a lot of information or facts she was trying to incorporate in the novel and in the process lost sight of the Sara and Gerald she envisioned at the start of the book.

Overall, this book was okay. I found this book to be a good compliment to other historical fiction books which are part of this scene in France in the 1920s (such as The Paris Wife).

Journal Entry 3 by Aberpeter at Renton, Washington USA on Friday, February 16, 2024

Released 2 mos ago (2/17/2024 UTC) at Renton, Washington USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Adding to the My Armchair Travels to France bookbox.

Journal Entry 4 by wingheartthumperwing at Hutchinson, Kansas USA on Saturday, March 2, 2024
Chosen from the My Armchair Travels to France bookbox.

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