I had no idea what Liza Klaussmann's new book was about. After "Tiger's in Red Weather" I saw this on the shelf of my local charity shop and grabbed it especially as it was on honeymoon reading list. However, I started it and then I left it on the shelf and its spine didn't crack until three days ago when I realised it was still unread and the honeymoon was only a week a way. I had been so excited to pick a book to take and fill my Kobo with some delights that I didn't want to take Villa America so I cracked the spine again, and I didn't put it down for the next 72 hours.
Liza Klaussmann's writing is all absorbing. The characters and the settings just pull you in and they don't let you go until you are done. This particular story I had read before. Post World War 1, Europe and the artists. I had read 'Z' and "The Paris Wife" loving them both. Now was the turn of the Murphy's and their lives during this time and how it interwove with the Fitzgerald's and the Hemmingway's. This beautifully written semi-biopic book about the tragic love triangle of the Murphy's in the first half of the novel. Liza captures the age and the characters with utter perfection. I loved it which makes the last third of the novel so disappointing.
The writing turns to correspondents among friends as the Murphy's story unravels into chaos. It is interesting, but it seems rushed. As if Klaussmann ran out of space and needed to close everything down. It got the job done. As in it closed the book down, but it lost its power.
THEN, she pulled it all back with the most phenomenal ending that just broke your heart! The mystery trip that the characters continually mention during the heartbreaking times is finally revealed, and it is worth the wait. Klaussmann pulled it back from the brink and the rough middle part was forgotten. I just cannot wait to get her next book!