April Book Review – Mrs. Bishop

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I’m teaming up with my good friend over at The Mama Bomb.Com to do book reviews each month. We’re each doing different reviews, and can’t wait to share our love of reading with you! She’s reviewing The Girl on the Train, a new mystery that has been on everyone’s to-read list.

Welcome to my very first Monthly Book Review! This month’s pick was Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. It’s a story based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife. This is a Historical Fiction, based on facts. So, the people are real and some of the situations, letters, etc are real, but all of the rest is left up to the author’s imagination.

Here’s the synopsis from the book:

“When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the “ungettable” Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner’s, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take the rest as it comes.

What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel—and his witty, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, adopts daring new fashions, and revels in this wild new world. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera—where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.

Everything seems new and possible. Troubles, at first, seem to fade like morning mist. But not even Jay Gatsby’s parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous—sometimes infamous—husband? How can she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott’s, too? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda’s irresistible story as she herself might have told it.”

I have been falling in love with this type of book, ever since I read The Paris Wife. I have never been a huge historical fiction fan, but I’m getting more and more interested in them. This book definitely stayed true to the time of when it is based. The cast of characters also seem very much like their actual selves. I don’t know too much about the Fitzgerald’s in real life, but you don’t really have to. It makes you want to learn more, and isn’t that really the purpose? To maybe see a peek into the lives of person’s that actually lived, and get an urge to find out more.I loved the way the author wrote Zelda. A fiery, passionate young girl. One who marries and is thrown into the wild and crazy life of a partying literary hopeful. You get to see a sample of what it might have been like to travel to Paris and party with the wannabe famous. I love it!Some people complain that the book isn’t really what they subjects were like, but remember- fiction! I love that the author took some facts and wrote her own story. It makes it much more exciting than reading a boring, straight to the point, factual telling.I do think there were some long, drawn out parts. And, a few things that would only make more sense if I knew more facts about the actual subjects. But, I didn’t find too much to complain about. I’ll just have to read some more of Fitzgerald’s actual works to find out more.

I would definitely recommend this book to those that enjoyed The Paris Wife, or any other type of historical fiction set in the jazz era. Broaden your horizons and take a step back in time. Imagine yourself the lonely wife of an aspiring author in an ever-changing time in history. Go back to a time when dancing all night and sleeping all day was perfectly acceptable. And working was apparently optional.

Now I’m off to dig up an old copy of Gatsby

Let me know what you thought about this book. Love it or hate it? Any recommendations for books to review? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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