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Villa America

villa america

Liza Klaussmann’s Tigers in Red Weather was one of my favourite books a few years ago, so when I saw that she had new material, I knew I would enjoy it. Villa America centres on Gerald and Sara Murphy, the real life American couple who inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night.

The Murphys’ villa on the French Riviera was the epicentre of social life in in the 1920’s, and Klaussman paints a world full of lavish parties and interesting houseguests, such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and of course, the Fitzgeralds. The story is told through a number of perspectives, giving the reader lots of insight into the inner workings of this complicated social circle. At the centre are artistic Gerald and sensuous Sara, along with mysterious Owen, whose presence in the Murphy’s life brings both comfort and chaos. As in Tigers in Red Weather, Klaussman does a wonderful job capturing the atmosphere of 1920’s France, allowing the reader to become fully emerged in this wild and wonderful world.

Already read Villa America? You might enjoy  Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932, which takes place in a similar time period, or something by Paula McLain, who writes biographical and historical fiction.