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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese…

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (edition 2013)

by Therese Anne Fowler

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Title:Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Authors:Therese Anne Fowler
Info:St. Martin's Press (2013), Hardcover, 384 pages
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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler


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4.5 but I'm rounding up.

This had a bit of a slow start but once halfway through I couldn't put it down till the last page was turned. I knew little about the Fitzgerald's lives and this book led me to the internet to research them further. To me, that is the mark of a great read.

HIstorical fiction is a tough genre and I think Fowler struck the right note. The author's research was extensive and she stuck with the known facts, adding fictionalized accounts where necessary. The combination made this a highly readable book.

Reading about Scott and Zelda is like watching a train wreck about to happen. You know it's going to be ugly but you can't tear your eyes away. Zelda has been vilified in popular lore, likely due in large part to Hemingway's intense public slander campaign. Fowler paints a truer more complete picture of Zelda. She was a fascinating woman with a wild, independent streak, a woman before her times, with her own ambition and talents. She would have fit into the 1960s quite nicely.

Reading about how 2 people had so much love, but were so toxic for one another was fascinating and heartbreaking. Having just listened to The Great Gatsby, it was insightful to read about the author. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this story of Zelda Fitzgerald, told in first person. It is the telling of her life as the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald during the 1920's and '30's. She was also known as "The First Flapper." It tells of how they met, fell in love, and lived an exciting life moving all around the world, partying, and rubbing shoulders with many famous celebrities of the time. But it all took a toll on her and on Scott. It is a sad but very interesting story. I recommend it, especially if you enjoy the era of the "Roaring Twenties"! ( )
  TerriS | Jan 29, 2017 |
One of the first books I listened to on audio. The reader was quite engaging, but they story was not always. The parts with Hemingway were fascinating. ( )
  kemilyh1988 | Jan 16, 2017 |
I enjoyed this book a lot, and couldn't put it down once I started it!
I am a sucker for a novel based on a real person, and this didn't disappoint. I knew a little bit about Zelda, but this book truly brought her alive for me. The author does a great job of sending the reader back in time to the 1920's through her dialogue and descriptions. I can't wait to see what she writes next! ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
  Megan.Easley-Walsh | Dec 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
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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
Once again


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.
Though I suspect he has someone out there, he writes to me all the time, and always ends his letters, With dearest love... My letters to him are signed, Devotedly... Even now, when we haven’t shared an address in six years, when he’s probably shining his light on some adoring girl who surely thinks she has saved him, we’re both telling it true. This is what we’ve got at the moment, who we are. It’s not nearly what we once had--the good. I mean--but it’s also not what we once had, meaning the bad.
I rested my head against his shoulder and we watched the sun set, just like you might see in the movies. We’d worked hard to create this lovely, new domestic bliss, and before Gatsby’s publication, right up until the book was printed and put into the hands of both the reading and the reviewing public, it looked as if we might actually succeed. Wait: if I leave it at that, it’ll sound like the novel’s disappointing performance is to blame for the disaster we made of our lives, and that’s not really so. Ernest Hemingway is to blame.
Trouble has lots of forms. There’s financial trouble and marital trouble, there’s trouble with friends and trouble with landlords and trouble with liquor and trouble with the law. Every sort of trouble I can think of, we’ve tried it out--become expert at some of it, even, so much so that I’ve come to wonder whether artists in particular seek out hard times the way flowers turn their faces toward the sun.
Scott and I had a row last weekend and haven’t spoken since--but as we are going to Sylvia Beach’s dinner for James Joyce tonight, I’ll once again have to put on my Mrs. F. Scott costume and try to play nice with him and the other children. Whose life is this, anyway? Only when I’m sweating rivers perfecting my plies in the studio do I feel like a whole and real person.
Scott spent the next several days drafting a story he called ‘The Rich Boy,’ then set it aside and returned to his routine of having cocktails with those very same types.
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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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