Wednesday, April 3, 2013

(25)Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Pages: 384
Publication Date: March 26,2013


Ever read a book and find yourself completely surprised by how much you are enjoying the story?  That was Z for me. I was completely swept away by the story of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald.

You may not realize that Zelda Fitzgerald was a talented woman in her own right, yet she sacrificed her talent for that of her husband's. In fact, she allowed Scott to pass off some of her work as his own, which in the long run caused great friction between the two of them.  She followed Scott all over the globe, starting in New York City and then returning to his home town of St. Paul for the birth of their daughter, Scottie, then back to New York City where Zelda aborted her second and last child, and of course all over Europe. She supported, coached and critiqued Scott through all of his novels and short stories.   Their story is peppered with literary giants of the "Roaring Twenties" such as Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and many, many more.

The title says it all, Z is a fictional autobiography of Zelda Fitzgerald, the greatest literary spouse of all times.  Keep in mind, the book is a  work of fiction, but the author did extensive research on the Fitzgeralds and wrote what she thought was said between the two of them.  From when they first met in Montgomery to their time in New York City and even in Paris.  Their story is one of passion, jealousy, resentment and even loneliness.  And their story is so captivating, you just can't stop reading.   I found out so much about the Fitzgeralds.  I know I should take some of it with a grain of salt, just because it is a fictional novel, but it sure did pique my curiosity.  Did Zelda really have an affair early in their marriage?  Did she really have an abortion?  Was there more than just friendship between Hemingway and Scott, like she alludes to many times?  Needless to say, I found myself heading to "Google" more than once to fact check the author.

Bottom line, I know that not everyone enjoys period pieces, but Z is really worth the read. It was a bit hard to get into at first, but by the time you get to New York City with Scott and Zelda you are swept away by the glitz and glamour of the roaring twenties and it is impossible to put the book down.  It really is a book that should not be missed by fans of American Literature.

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Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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