Sunday, November 2, 2014

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald: A Book Review

Stepping into Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, means stepping into a different world. This is a world of jazz and cocktails. Of flappers and Modernist Art. I have sipped champagne with Zelda Fitzgerald at The Plaza and discussed literature with Ernest Hemingway (who is a chauvinist pig, by the way) at a cafe in Paris.

"Z" is insightful and intelligent. It speaks to the feminist in me, the writer in me, and to the historian in me. Unfortunately,  I can't speak for its historical accuracy because I'm not very familiar with the personal lives of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Luckily this is the kind of book that inspires you to read further, to explore more. I'm sure over time I'll end up researching much of the Fitzgerald's world, thanks to this book.

This is a novel that inspires and feeds a writer's mind. In the time I read this book I also wrote three short stories. All three were sifting through my brain long before I picked this book up, but something about suffering through Scott's struggles with writer's block inspired me to put pen to paper. Or perhaps its the knowledge that as a woman I should be grateful I'm allowed to put pen to paper at all. Either way, this book made me want to be a better writer. And to write more often.

If there is a low point to this book it is in the ending. *Spoiler... sort of...* 

I wish this book had ended on more of a Zelda note and less of a Scott note. After hours of learning just how much she struggled in his shadow, ending it with his death (prior to the afterword that is) just feels like one more loss for Zelda. 

Then again, it also makes the story ring true to the life of Zelda Fitzgerald.

Books that remind me of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald:
American Wife
The Paris Wife

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