Women Authors Martha McPhee L'America

ISBN 13: 9780151011711

L'America

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9780151011711: L'America

In the brilliant Greek sunshine of a small Aegean island, Beth and Cesare meet-and thus begins a transformative love affair that spans two continents, two decades, and two lifetimes. Cesare is a cosseted Italian boy, raised in a prosperous town where his family has lived for five hundred years; Beth, an ambitious American dreamer born to hippies and raised on a commune. The events of September 11 serve as a catalyst for the unfolding of their story, in which passion struggles against the inexorable force of patria. An examination of the intersection between Europe and America, the old and the new, L'America is above all a remarkable evocation of the dizzying, life-changing power of first love.

The novel of the American in Europe has a long and lustrous pedigree. Now Martha McPhee joins the ranks of its most impressive practitioners.

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Review:

Martha McPhee's L'America is a sweeping tale of transatlantic love, anger, tragedy, and reconciliation, told from both personal and historical perspectives. At the novel's core is an epic romance between an idealistic American and a pragmatic Italian, each of whom possess qualities that both repel and attract the other. The result is a journey through the lives and times of two people for whom an imperfect love will become the driving force for their entire past, present, and future.

Eighteen-year-old Beth arrives in Europe with a naiveté that is matched only by her bravado. The daughter of an aging hippie who runs a commune in memory of his dead wife, Beth is determined to explore the world her father so vehemently eschews. Cesare is a young Italian whose family history is deeply rooted in traditions that seem unbreakable. When they meet on a small Greek island, they are immediately drawn to the sense of "otherness" they see in each other. As their bond deepens, so do the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that keep preventing them from living happily ever after. But still, "What they wanted was to live something unlivable, step inside the lost chance."

McPhee is an extremely talented writer, and her detailed descriptions of sun-soaked Grecian beaches, overstuffed yet cozy New York apartments, and wide open Pennsylvanian orchards are as emotionally charged as her explorations of irrepressible love and cataclysmic grief. On occasion, her strong narrative voice seems to overpower her characters, but she always knows just when to come back to the raw beauty of Beth and Cesare's story. It is that purity, both of love and of loss, that makes L'America a gorgeous treasure to behold. --Gisele Toueg

From the Inside Flap:

A first kiss, do you remember? Gentle at first, his lips exploring every curve of her neck, then hungry, then greedy. . . . "Tu sei perfetta," Cesare whispered into her ear, and his words became all of her body.

Cesare is a cosseted Italian boy, raised in the weathy town where his family has lived for 500 years. Beth is an ambitious American dreamer, born to hippies and raised on a rural commune. In the brilliant sunshine of a small Greek island they meet - and begin a transforming love affair that spans two continents, two decades, and two lifetimes. As their passion struggles against the pull of culture and country, their story unfolds against the backdrop of a lush Italian landscape and the thrumming streets of New York, catalyzed by the events of September 11th. A sensuous immersion in place, an acute exploration of the divide between old world and new, L'AMERICA is also and above all an evocation of the dizzying, life-changing power of first love.

The novel of an American in Europe has a long and lustrous pedigree: With this dreamily exquisite story Martha McPhee joins the ranks of its most impressive practitioners.

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