Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 2013
Page Count: 375
Adult historical fiction aimed at women readers is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, and I especially enjoy books with literary characters. I was in the mood for a historical fiction read and this one really did the trick.
This is the story of the infamous lives of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald told from the perspective of Zelda. It covers their entire lives, from the first meeting to Scott's death, and it's brutally honest.
One thing I like about historical fiction is that it humanizes events and people that have become almost legendary and mythical. There has been so much written about the lives of the Fitzgerald's and their crazy parties and alcohol consumption, and the stories have made them out to be the careless people in Fitzgerald's novels, but this book tamed the rumors and presented Scott and Zelda as real people.
I loved the picture this novel painted of Paris in the 20's and all the artists that were mingling and inspiring each other. If you remember my Literary Look on the Lost Generation you will know I love this literary movement, so I loved seeing it come to life. Ernest Hemingway was very close friends with Scott Fitzgerald and I loved Zelda's open and honest criticism of him and his influence on Scott (I will never pass up an opportunity to say Hemingway was a jerk!)
This book really takes a look at what it was like to be a woman in this time, and the challenges a woman faced when she wanted to be a wife, mother, and artist. Zelda was a great writer, but most of her work was published under Scott's name, or sabotaged by him out of jealousy. She really struggled to get recognition for anything she created, and she was quite a talented writer, painter, and ballet dancer.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was an entertaining read that satisfied my craving and did justice to a smart and talented woman who is often overshadowed by her husband. I would love to read some of Zelda's works now, and I'm going to look into her painting.
More (fictional) Books About Authors
The Paris Wife, Paula McLain- Ernest Hemingway and first wife Hadley
The Age of Desire, Jennie Fields - Edith Wharton
The House of Hawthorne, Erika Robuck- Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne
Hemingway's Girl, Erika Robuck- Ernest Hemingway
Fallen Beauty, Erika Robuck- Edna St. Vincent Millay