One of our recommended books is Costalegre by Courtney Maum

COSTALEGRE

A Novel Inspired by Peggy Guggenheim and Her Daughter, Pegeen


Inspired by the real-life relationship between the heiress Peggy Guggenheim and her daughter, Pegeen, Costalegre is the tender and touching story of a privileged teenager who has everything a girl could wish for, except a mother who loves her back.

It is 1937, and Europe is on the brink of war. Hitler is circulating a most-wanted list of artists, writers, and thinkers whose work is deemed a threat to the new regime. To prevent the destruction of her favorite art (and artists), American heiress and modern art collector Leonora Calaway begins swiftly chartering boats and planes for an elite group of surrealists to Costalegre,

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Inspired by the real-life relationship between the heiress Peggy Guggenheim and her daughter, Pegeen, Costalegre is the tender and touching story of a privileged teenager who has everything a girl could wish for, except a mother who loves her back.

It is 1937, and Europe is on the brink of war. Hitler is circulating a most-wanted list of artists, writers, and thinkers whose work is deemed a threat to the new regime. To prevent the destruction of her favorite art (and artists), American heiress and modern art collector Leonora Calaway begins swiftly chartering boats and planes for an elite group of surrealists to Costalegre, a mysterious resort in the Mexican jungle, where she has a home.

The story of what happens to these artists is told by Lara, Leonora’s neglected fifteen-year-old daughter, who has been pulled out of school to follow her mother to Mexico. “I am destined,” Lara writes, “for a destiny I haven’t had the chance to meet.” Inspired by the beautiful and talented Charlotte, alongside an eccentric menagerie of other surrealists, Lara begins to discover herself as an artist. In days filled with writing, dreaming, horseback riding, and exploring her new home, she grapples with her own ambition, hoping to find a sensitive ear in her mother but often finding herself alone. It’s not till she meets the outcast sculptor Jack Klinger, a much older man who has already been living in Costalegre for some time, that Lara thinks she might have found the understanding she so badly craves.

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  • Tin House
  • Paperback
  • July 2020
  • 240 Pages
  • 9781951142018

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$15.95

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About Courtney Maum

Courtney Maum is the author of CostalegreCourtney Maum is the author of the novels Touch and I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, the chapbook Notes from Mexico, and the handbook Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book. Her writing and essays have been widely published in such outlets as BuzzFeed; The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; and Modern Loss. She is the founder of the learning collaborative The Cabins, and she also works as a product and cosmetic shade namer from her home in Connecticut.

Praise

“Delightful. . . . In Lara, Maum has given a little-considered daughter a more hopeful future.” —Mona Simpson, The New York Times Book Review

“Taut and lush.” —The Washington Post

“Reveals the power a mother holds over her daughter.” —TIME

“Delivered in spades. Highly recommended.” Glamour, Best Books of the Decade

“Slender, intelligent. . . . A portrait of the young woman amidst the artists.” —The Boston Globe

“Beautiful. . . . A story about growing up and looking for love.” —GOOP

“An excellent way to spend a summer weekend.” —Vulture

“A vividly drawn novel of family, sacrifice, and the limits of understanding.” —Southern Living

“A mesmerizing story of alienation, intimacy, and the elusive powers of art.” —NYLON

“Its charm lies less in its summarizable qualities . . . than in Maum’s superb balance between humor and grief, and her talent for saying just enough, never too much.” —BOMB

“Compelling. . . . freshly original and unusual.” —Book Riot

“Maum’s coming-of-age novel among some of Europe’s elite is heartbreaking in its evocation of a teenage girl whose mother collects artists to save but who ignores the daughter struggling not to drown.” —Star Tribune

“An intimate fever dream.” —Los Angeles Review of Books