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on July 09, 2013 :
Set in Hollywood, the Hamptons and France, peopled with familiar names from the literary world of Europe and America, and told in the languidly simple style of the era, Christopher McPherson’s Sarah and Gerald vividly recreates the 1920s where Gerald’s bold art will shock the French press, Ernest will betray his wife, Scott will write another masterpiece, and Sarah will hold them all together while bringing up a family.
A marriage of old and new money underlies the central relationship of this story, and a marriage of old and new telling characterizes the writing. Real people are painted slightly askew, real lives recognizable behind the fiction, but everything larger than life as befits the time between the wars. The “lost generation” tries to find itself. Friends help each other. A generous spirit refrains from questioning that which pleases a loved one. And children grow up surrounded by more than love.
By the end of the tale I’m sorry to lose sight of these characters (and have to look them up on the internet). They’ve seemed so real, their trials so heart-rending, their triumphs and losses so generously shared. The novel may be short but its echoes are long in a world where we no longer espouse bull-fighting but delight instead in fighting our neighbor’s sexual inclinations and dictating what lifestyles should be allowed.
The Great Gatsby meets The Man on the Third Floor; Sarah and Gerald is highly recommended.
Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy in exchange for my honest review. My apologies for taking so long to get around to reading it—I really enjoyed it.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Nov. 01, 2012 :
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book but not as much as I enjoyed News on the Home Front.
Sarah & Gerald is a sweet short story that chronicles a brief period in the title characters' lives while in France after World War I. This was a quick read. All of the characters were likeable. Some characters are clearly based on famous individuals from that time period even though the author doesn't come out and declare that directly in the narrative.
Sarah and Gerald enjoy some grand adventures with their three children while living in France. They also get to travel to California for Gerald's brief stint as a set designer for silent movies. This book isn't all happiness though. Tragedy does strike each of the characters in some way...some more devastating than others. However, that is life...not all happiness all of the time.
Would I recommend it: If you like historical fiction that is fairly light, then read this book.
Will I read it again: I will not read this book again. But I will read more by Christopher McPherson. His books have been good reads for this reviewer.
(reviewed long after purchase)