Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
Published 11 April 2013 Two Roads Books
This book is almost required reading for me and so thank you Lisa for the ARC. I adored The Paris Wife by Paula McLain - the story of Hemingway's hard-done-to wife Hadley and so when I read about Z, it went straight onto my TBR list. I was not disappointed.
Z is the story of the first flapper, Zelda Sayre, later Fitzgerald. It begins in Montgomery, Alabama with a very young, bold, effervescent Zelda living life just the way she wants to. She has beau's a-plenty and is the life of the party when she meets Lieutenant Scott Fitzgerald - and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Fitzgerald's are the glitterati, the glamour, the champagne fizz - everyone wants a piece. They live in an exhausting New York whirlwind of gaiety but alongside this is Scott's competitive struggle to go one better with his writing. To be the best, the one, celebrated and Zelda was right there - his muse, his accompaniment, his co-star and lastly, his wife.
As they travel through Europe and even to Africa, meeting Hemingway, Stein, Porter, Pound and Picasso we see the Fitzgerald elastic stretch and eventually snap.
Zelda's frustration, need and helplessness make Z a very emotional read. As I was reading I would think she's only 23, 25, 28 years old. What a life, a sad life.
Z is a love story, a tragedy, a wonderful novel. Upon finishing it I felt exhausted - but I loved it. Well done Therese for giving Zelda Fitzgerald a voice.