Author: Liza Klaussmann
“Wouldn’t it be nice to think so,” says Jake to Lady Brett Ashley in the Sun Also Rises.
And so goes the theme of the novel Villa America by Liza Klaussmann, an historical fictional tome set in the Cap d’Antibes revolving around the successful marriage of Sara and Gerald Murphy, socialites of the so called 1920s Lost Generation. Based indeed on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s locale setting in Tender is the Night, Ms. Klaussmann’s Villa America delves deeply and poignantly into the lives and relationships of the Murphy’s and their 1920s group of famous artists and friends, Cole Porter, Pablo Picasso, Hemingway, Fitzgerald and others.
The times were “new” – the war was over, and people wanted fun. Artists and writers of this generation produced more individualistic works: Hemingway, Picasso and other cubists and all were friends to the socialite Murphys. Creating a beautiful fantastical social world was Sara Murphy’s dream while her husband Gerald’s fame rose as a successful futuristic painter.
Enter fictional character aviator Owen Chambers, and as Gerald and Owen find themselves enraptured of each other, and flying, the novel pursues the lives of the other famous characters. Sara accepts Owen also and likes him, and as Klaussmann adopts Owen as the pivot for the marriage’s sexual insecurities, it also provides a firm foundation for Sara and Gerald’s love for each other.
Innovative and charming, Villa America gives us the social inner lives of the Murphy’s and also provides a parallel novel about the other famous individuals; as an historical novel, the fictional Chambers creates a diversion, but still a wonderful novel to contemplate the important artists and writers of the times.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A”
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
Villa America: A Novel is available for purchase on Amazon.com and your local bookseller.