Thursday, April 25, 2013

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

In Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Therese Anne Fowler introduces the world to the little known counterpart of F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife.  The book is a fictional story that is rooted in detailed research.  The story centers around the ill-fated couple, but it also documents life during prohibition and the Jazz Age- a time when New York and France were brimming with contemporary artists such as Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein.  Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were the "golden couple" of their time, but behind closed doors (and often publicly as well) there was a different story to tell.

With the release of the new Gatsby movie looming, I thought it was the perfect time to read this book. Zelda Fitzgerald was a woman born before her time. She was artistic and bold, and married to a man that both loved and hated her for it. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's story is a tragic one. There has long been question as to which of them was responsible for the ruin of their lives. Fowler did a very nice job of staying in the middle and letting the readers decide for themselves. I tend to find myself on Team Zelda, but then I realize that a saw a bit of myself in her. Though she was certainly an unusual and outstanding woman, Zelda was simply trying to do what all women want to do- to find yourself, to leave something for the world to remember you by, to be a good wife and mother, to mean something.  This book is a fabulously written piece of historical fiction.

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