Villa America

Villa America

Large Print - 2015
Average Rating:
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When Sara Wiborg and Gerald Murphy married, they set forth to create a beautiful world together. But they met people who kept secrets, and who beneath the sparkling veneer were heartbreakingly human.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2015
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781410483416
141048341X
Branch Call Number: LGE-TYPE FICTION KLAUSSMAN 2015
Characteristics: 667 pages (large print) ; 23 cm

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uncommonreader
Jul 24, 2016

This novel is very close to biography, which begs the question - why not just read one of the excellent biographies of the Murphys? Only Gerald's relationship with a veteran pilot seems to have been imagined by the author. The dialogue was sometimes clunky and the novel did not evoke the 1920 in its language, context or sensibility.

t
TheresaAJ
Mar 08, 2016

Villa America is a novel about Sara and Gerald Murphy, the always genial hosts, for the expat community in Europe during the 1920s. Their circle of friends included Hemingway plus his first wife, Hadley, and soon to be second wife, Pauline, Pablo Picasso, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, and Dorothy Parker. This story follows their lives from late childhood to early middle age (1898-1937) and ends with the deaths of their two sons, Baoth and Patrick. Most of the story takes place during the 1920s when the Murphys hosted their Dinner-Flowers-Gala parties which included many cocktails and much soul-searching about each others' lives, loves, and wealth. The story is a fascinating look at wealthy Americans living in Europe during the Jazz Age after the horrors of World War I.

m
marthabwaters
Sep 01, 2015

This is based on the lives of the actual couple that inspired Fitzgerald's 'Tender is the Night', taking place at their villa in France in the 1920s. I appreciated that Klaussman made the (correct, in my opinion) decision to get a bit creative with the actual facts for the sake of a better story--something I wish more historical fiction authors would do. The very end of the novel gets a bit bogged down, in my opinion, under a series of letters offering a peek at what happened to characters in the years following the main action of the book, but overall I thought this was very atmospheric and an entertaining read.

debwalker Aug 05, 2015

"Villa America is an alluring and poignant novel that will appeal especially to Lost Generation fans as well as to readers seeking a satisfying story about the complexities of love, marriage and friendship." Shannon McKenna Schmidt, Shelf Awareness

b
bluehydrangea
Jul 10, 2015

A carefully written novel about American aesthetes Sara and Gerald Murphy, which stalled for me when it was closest to real events ; much of the writing is beautiful but there is something not quite right with the whole thing - does this novel need to exist at all? The author's afterword suggests the Murphy's story was one she just couldn't leave alone, acknowledging that Sara and Gerald's life stories have been told quite brilliantly elsewhere. I'm glad I read it, though, despite the mixed feelings.

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