Costalegre

Costalegre

Title:Costalegre
ISBN:9781947793361
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:240 pages

One of Literary Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2019.
A Best Book of Summer at amNY, Moda Operandi, Publishers WeeklySouthern Living, and Thrillist.
A Best Book of July at The Washington Post, Hello Giggles, Refinery 29, TIME Magazine, and Mind Body Green.
It is 1937, and Europe is on the brink of war. In the haute-bohemian circles of Austria, Germany, and Paris, Hitler is circulating a most-wanted list of “cultural degenerates”—artists, writers, and thinkers whose work is deemed antithetical to the new regime.  To prevent the destruction of her favorite art (and artists), the impetuous American heiress and modern art collector, Leonora Calaway, begins 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 when they reach their destination is told from the point of view of Lara, Leonora’s neglected 15-year-old daughter, who has been pulled out of school to follow her mother to Mexico. Forced from a young age to cohabit with her mother’s eccentric whims, tortured lovers, and entourage of gold-diggers, Lara suffers from emotional, educational, and geographical instability that a Mexican sojourn with surrealists isn’t going to help. But when she meets the outcast Dadaist sculptor Jack Klinger, a much older man who has already been living in Costalegre for some time, Lara thinks she might have found the love and understanding she so badly craves. 


Sinuous and striking, heartbreaking and strange, Costalegre is heavily inspired by the real-life relationship between the heiress Peggy Guggenheim and her daughter, Pegeen. Acclaimed author Courtney Maum triumphs with this wildly imaginative and curiously touching story of a privileged teenager who has everything a girl could wish for—except for a mother who loves her back. 


    Costalegre Reviews

  • Courtney Maum

    BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ....

  • Julie Ehlers

    Costalegre is one of those books that's easier to admire than to enjoy. In this short novel, a wealthy socialite named Leonora gets a small group of artists and writers out of Europe ahead of WWII and...

  • Jill

    The year is 1937. A bitter little man disparagingly nicknamed Schlecty (better known to the world as Hitler) has declared a ban on modernism in the Reich. His former art school mates, denounced as deg...

  • switterbug (Betsey)

    This is a spare, elegiac, poetic, and moving book of longing, especially the hunger for parental love. I read it in one sitting. But I ask myself—would I have liked it as much if it wasn’t an hist...

  • Maureen

    1.2 stars only because it is an arbitrary number to represent the arbitrary nature of this book. Aimless, plotless, pointless, ineffectual, and a futile effort at a poorly executed vanity project. The...

  • Kelly Well Read

    I'm reviewing Costalegre by Courtney Maum as I just turned the last page and it's still fresh on my mind. I will tell you that this is not a book I would normally choose to read, but after reading it ...

  • Bonnie Brody

    This gem of a novel takes place in 1937 as WWII is about to commence. Hitler is in power and he is rounding up people who do not support his regime, perceived degenerates, and political enemies. Artis...

  • Marcy Dermansky

    Courtney Maum takes us into this other world, where 15-year-old Lara lives in a world of eccentric artists escaping World War II. Hitler, we learned, made terrible water colors. And Lara wants to pain...

  • Cassie (book__gal)

    (3.5) Costalegre is based loosely on art heiress Peggy Guggenheim and her daughter, Pegeen. It is narrated via diary entries from 15-year-old Lara after she has been transplanted to Mexico by her moth...

  • Cassie

    Read it in a day, three settings. The voice, the extravagance, and the books of the whole world make this book just deliberate, and cunning, and beautiful. I have most pages dog eared for quotes to wr...