“If only people could travel as easily as words. Wouldn’t that be something? If only we could be so easily revised.” – Zelda Fitzgerald
Today I’ll be reviewing the book Z – A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald written by Therese Anne Fowler. This is a fictional novel that is strongly based on the true events of the lives of Zelda Fitzgerald and her famous husband F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story is about Zelda’s life and has very strong feminist themes because she lived during the 20’s when women were starting to try to branch out and be their own people.
The story starts out with Zelda at age 17 going on 18 and she is a rebellious young lady living in Montgomery, Alabama in 1918. Right before her 18th birthday she meets a dashing young officer, Scott Fitzgerald who sweeps her off of her feet. They write to each other as he is shipped off to fight in the first world war but peace was made before he fought. They get married and from there on out it’s a roller-coaster ride of love, loss, betrayal, and dreams.
“Won’t we be quite the pair?—you with your bad heart, me with my bad head. Together, though, we might have something worthwhile.” – Zelda Fitzgerald
I really enjoyed this book! One of my top 5 authors is F. Scott Fitzgerald but I didn’t know a lot about his life of that of his wife, Zelda. I liked that this book gave me major insight into what made him a great writer and why Zelda was so popular also. The author did a great job of translating their story into an enjoyable novel instead of a non-fiction book. She made the characters so vibrant it really felt like I was watching this all happen in my head. I learned that Scott was definitely not all he is cracked up to be. He was a HUGE jerk sometimes and also a raging alcoholic (most classic authors were) who at many different times almost destroyed his family. Zelda was very headstrong from a young age and marriage didn’t change that. She was definitely not the perfect wife and she too almost messed everything up and also had a problem with alcoholism. She also did some writing and has a novel published that I didn’t know about, writing helped her cope with her situation. I also learned more about Ernst Hemingway because he and Scott were best friends. Let’s just say he caused some big problems in Scott and Zelda’s marriage.
There wasn’t a lot that I disliked about this book other than the fact that it opened my eyes to the kind of person that Scott Fitzgerald was, that he wasn’t just some legendary writer. He had many struggles throughout his life and Zelda, I believe, had even more. They both caused each other insufferable pain but I do believe what they had was true love.
“We glared at each other then, with the kind of hatred that comes from being deliberately wounded in one’s softest, most vulnerable places by a person who used to love you passionately.” – Zelda Fitzgerald
This book was just invigorating, I didn’t want to put it down. Therese Anne Fowler did a wonderful job tying in all of the different novels and works that Scott wrote. After reading this, and having also read The Great Gatsby, I can see so much of Scott in Gatsby and so much of Zelda in Daisy. While the stories are both different, the characters personalities tend to coincide. It also brought to my attention the plague that women suffered during this time. Everything you did was for your husband in some way. You could not dare to venture out on your own and figure out what was right for you, no, that was not the womanly duty. Zelda fought against this her entire life. She loved ballet and Scott whined about it every time she tried to go anywhere with it. The same thing happened with her writing, the only thing she really got to sell in her name was her paintings and those were not valued at much. Overall, this book will capture you from the beginning and make you think really hard about everything you thought you knew about the Fitzgerald’s. I highly recommend that you find this book at your nearest library or buy it here and enjoy every sentence!
Word Count 651