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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (edition 2013)

by Therese Anne Fowler

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6135315,886 (3.79)29
Member:Beamis12
Title:Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Authors:Therese Anne Fowler
Info:St. Martin's Press (2013), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

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I loved Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Theresa Anne Fowler. First I want to say that the narrator did a wonderful natural southern accent that I loved to listen to. I hope that I can listen to more books read by her.

The jazz age in America is really growing on me. I have read about it in New York City, in New Orleans and about the circle of friends that Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald had in the United States in several books. Surprisingly, everything is meshing together. This book is sort of the cherry on top for me of all the books. I do have one more to read, Ernest Hemingway’s Moveable Feast and I am sure that since my sympathies are with Zelda all the way that I will be very angry all the way through that book. But I will try to be unbiased. I know that I am not done reading historical fiction books of that era!

The author had to have researched Zelda very carefully because so much fits with the other books. What I love the most is that she has Zelda revealing herself like she is just talking with us. It is so personable and so sweet. The two were inseparable at the beginning, Zelda chose him from a large field of suitors over her father’s wishes. But there were many troubles, F. Scott’s spending lavishly on a sparse income, his alcoholism and refusal to accept that Zelda could make her own decisions and be what she wanted to be besides an adoring wife and mother. Back then, Zelda was thought to be schizophrenic but bipolar fits much better. She learned to dance, draw, paint and write stories and books. She wanted to be free of him but at the same time she loved him. So it was a delicate tightrope that she walked and she fell off several times.

The author brings the full experience of what the parties and dancing and gossipy was like and the many troubles that developed later from the free flow of alcohol and very strict mores of the time. The experiences in the mental institutions rang true. This book flows robustly through Zelda’s and F. Scott’s lives.

I believe this book is a book to read with a collection of books by Fitzgerald, Hemingway and others. I think the author did an excellent job of putting together her life.

I highly recommend this book and feel even more encouraged to learn more about this age and the authors then. ( )
  Carolee888 | Mar 10, 2015 |
Enjoyed this book very much. I am enthralled with the 1920's and all the bigger than life characters who lived during that period. This story was so bright at times and overwhelmingly sad at others. A fictional account of their courtship marriage travels and failures. ( )
  Alphawoman | Dec 13, 2014 |
“Z: A novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” tells the story of the wife of Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. Zelda's story replays the glitter, parties and fame that so often combine with the sadness, disappointment and drama in the lives of the rich and famous. Zelda’s story is that of a wife whose dreams and talents are hidden behind and sublimated by a famous and self-important husband. It is similar to the stories of the wives of Frank Lloyd Wright as told in “Loving Frank”, and Robert Lewis Stevenson in “Under the Wide and Starry Sky”. The wives of these famous men were always in the background of their famous spouses, and many times were as capable and accomplished or sometimes even more so than the men they married and supported. The overpowering quest for Frank to write the great American novel is part of a central focus in both Zelda’s and Frank’s life. You are taken through the years with the ups and down of time and experiences. Zelda was not a character I identified with as she seemed self-indulgent and spoiled. I understand some of the hardships she faced but did not connect with her. I give this book a 3.5 rating ( )
  WeeziesBooks | Nov 27, 2014 |
Therese Fowler is a very talented writer as have read all her books--once again she has written a winner! Hats off first with the stunning cover (an eye catcher) and the research involved in putting together this extraordinary novel! Everything about the roaring 20s is appealing from the glitz, glamour, romance, travels, parties, culture, and fashion.

As a lover of Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby, the first person fiction from Zelda’s perspective was nicely portrayed, transporting you back in time, setting the mood for each adventure. You get caught up into Zelda’s lifestyle as she experiences the highs and lows of a complex relationship of love and hate. She was talented and misunderstood-a Southern belle merging from the naïve protected girl to the struggles of power, success, fame, travel, alcoholism, infidelity, and mental illness and tough choices as she struggles for her own independence and self-worth. Well done!
( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
One word: Co-dependent. Yes, as much as Zelda and Scott are crazy in love, they are even more crazy with out one another. They need each other, thrive off one another, and seem to feed off one another the more "crazy" one is. The story starts with Zelda as a teenager, a vibrant 17 year old, who has many suitors at her feet. However, she zones in one handsome solider: F. Scott Fitzgerald, who also only has eyes for her. It's rather sweet to read about their courtship, leading up to marriage, and readers can't help but root for them.

While we all know the ending, it's what happens in between that makes the story worthwhile. Theresa Ann Fowler, is a great storyteller, who gives readers a glimpse into the world of the Fitzgerald's. Zelda is given a voice, that goes beyond just being "crazy, neurotic, unstable". She is clear headed, strong willed, and sets trends despite her desire to do so. She is simply herself, and that is what makes us all fall in love with her.

Zelda, never meant to be in Scott's shadow, follows her own dreams of writing, dancing, and making being who she wants to be, all while being with an erratic husband, dealing with the media and what they chose to portray her as, and trying to be the kind of mother she desires, all while also having a mental illness (that wasn't diagnosed until later in her life).

This is an excellent book that follows Zelda from her courtship through the Jazz age. It ends with you wanting more Zelda! It's an excellent book, that is a must-read for anyone who loves historical fiction, wants to know who the woman is behind F. Scott Fitzgerald, and just loves a great love story (with a little bit of crazy). ( )
  booksintheburbs | Oct 22, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Happily, happily foreverafterward - the best we could.
- Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald
If you aren't in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?

—T.S. Eliot
Dedication
Once again

To

Zelda
First words
Prologue: Dear Scott, The Love of the Last Tycoon is a great title for your novel.
Chapter I: Picture a late June morning in 1918, a time when Montgomery wore her prettiest spring dress and finest floral perfume - same as I would wear that evening.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Picture a late-May morning in 1918, a time when Montgomery wore her prettiest spring dress and finest floral perfume—same as I would wear that evening…

Thus begins the story of beautiful, reckless, seventeen-year-old Zelda Sayre on the day she meets Lieutenant Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald at a country club dance. Fitzgerald isn’t rich or settled; no one knows his people; and he wants, of all things, to be a writer in New York. No matter how wildly in love they may be, Zelda’s father firmly opposes the match. But when Scott finally sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, Zelda defies her parents to board a train to New York and marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Life is a sudden whirl of glamour and excitement: Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel—and his beautiful, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, trades in her provincial finery for daring dresses, and plunges into the endless party that welcomes the darlings of the literary world to New York, then Paris and the French Riviera.

It is the Jazz Age, when everything seems new and possible—except that dazzling success does not always last. Surrounded by a thrilling array of magnificent hosts and mercurial geniuses—including Sara and Gerald Murphy, Gertrude Stein, and the great and terrible Ernest Hemingway—Zelda and Scott find the future both grander and stranger than they could have ever imagined.
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A tale inspired by the marriage of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald follows their union in defiance of her father's opposition and her abandonment of the provincial finery of her upbringing in favor of a scandalous flapper identity that gains her entry into the literary party scenes of New York, Paris and the French Riviera.… (more)

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