All That Glitters

A lifestyle blog

Category: Book Club

Book Club: “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald”


Image: here

One of the reasons that I absolutely adore summer is the fact that I have so much time to read. During school it is so difficult to find time to commit to one novel. So if you are wondering why this past few months have been fill of “Book Club” posts, that is why. Much of what I have read this summer has come from looking at everyone’s summer reading list posts. One book that I have found on several lists was “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” by Therese Anne Fowler. How happy was I when it popped up at Target during one of my frequent (read: completely unnecessary) trips?!

I do not know if it has come up on here yet or not but I am a huge fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing; he is my absolute favorite author. However, I have only been familiar with his work and not so much his life let alone that of his wife, Zelda. I knew only that she was from Alabama and that many (including Ernest Hemingway) considered Zelda to be one of Scott’s biggest distractions and professional hinderances.

The novel is not a biography. It actually reads very similar to “The Paris Wife” which I talked about here. It is a piece of wonderfully written historical fiction told from Mrs. Fitzgerald’s perspective. The reader has the opportunity to glimpse into what was potentially going through the mind of this reportedly wild woman. What she must have felt following her husband all around the country and even to France so that he could find the inspiration to write, only to spend more time drinking and socializing.

While the novel did make prominent Scott’s drinking problem, and Zelda’s problems that had her institutionalized from much of the ’30s and ’40s, something else stands out above that: the love story.

The Fitzgeralds were a couple who stayed together through the good and through the very bad despite the opinions of friends and family. They managed to stay together through all of the alcohol, affairs, nasty fights, illness and other factors. At one point in the book, the couple is sitting together on Christmas Eve when Zelda asks Scott why they have not divorced each other. He replies simply that she is the true love of his life regardless of everything else.

I absolutely adored this book–it was totally worth the purchase! If you are a Fitzgerald fan and a fan of the Roaring Twenties I definitely recommend this book!

❤ Ashley

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

Book Club: The Paris Wife

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I decided to pick up “The Paris Wife” by Paula McClain las week because I had heard before such amazing things about it–and plus my mother already had a copy so I did not have to go out and buy it!

The story follows the relationship between Ernest Hemingway and his first wife (he had four!) Hadley. They were together in the early part of his career and she supported his writing in Paris of the 1920s. The story is in fact told from Hadley’s point of view.

This novel is historical fiction, however, McClain made it her mission to make it as close to real as possible by studying letters of correspondents between Ernest and Hadley and paid attention to how he described her in his very last work, a memoir titled “A Moveable Feast.”

I will come right out and say that I absolutely love this book! In fact, I do plan on purchasing my own copy because I am sure that I will want to read it again. Paula McClain’s writing here is descriptive, emotional and just great! I found myself completely invested in Hadley and Ernest’s relationship and became heartbroken with Hadley as it began to fall apart. I only ever put this book down if I absolutely had to do so.

Aside from the relationship I was also intrigued by the setting; I am fascinated by the ‘20s, the Jazz Age, Paris, and the “Lost Generation” including Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald who make appearances in this book. It was like getting a glimpse of life in 1920s Paris and watching Hemingway create the pieces that have become so well-known today.

I would definitely recommend this to you if you have not read it yet and would love to hear your thoughts if you have!

❤ Ashley

Will you read “The Paris Wife?” If you already have, what do you think of it?