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Gatsby's Girl

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3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  837 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
Just as Jay Gatsby was haunted by Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fizgerald was haunted by his own great first love — a Chicago socialite named Ginevra. Alluring, capricious, and ultimately unavailable, she would become his first muse, the inspiration for such timeless characters as Gatsby's Daisy and Isabelle Borge in This Side of Paradise.

Caroline Preston's
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Hardcover, 312 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Brittany
Nov 14, 2010 Brittany rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: F. Scott Fitzgerald fans
How I Came To Read This Book: I Read 'The Great Gatsby' last year and my friend knew I really liked it. Hence this book ended up in my Xmas gift last year.

The Plot: This book is a fictionalized retelling of the life of Ginevra King, the supposed muse for many of F. Scott Fitzgerald's women, including Daisy Buchanan in 'Gatsby'. In the book we follow the fictionalized Ginevra Perry through her whirlwind written romance with Fitzgerald, through to the conventional path she chooses as Fitzgerald's
...more
Linds
Jun 27, 2012 Linds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of The Great Gatsby & Fitzgereld
A fictionalized account of Ginerva King, the muse and character basis for Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby.

The point is that Fitzgerald made her more cruel and shallow than she was. She was an 17 year old girl that threw over a dreamer that was flunking geometry and had a drinking problem. She was careless, but she was a teenager.

This book does not need the reader to have read all of Fitzgerald's works or been familiar with his biography to enjoy this book. But, being a fan I loved it and fo
...more
Amanda Carroll
This was by far the best book I have ever read. Personally I loved how is coincided with The Great Gatsby because just like Gatsby had always loved Daisy F. Scott Fitzgerald always loved Ginevra. It was so unique to read because it caused you to conclude why F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby and all of his other famous novels. Gatsby's Girl was about the main character Ginevra, the narrator, and how she fell in love easily causing her to be careless just like Daisy in the Great Gatsby. ...more
Mandy
May 10, 2011 Mandy rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this book. I like the genre of historical fiction/non fiction as it pertains to a unique vantage point told by a female of a larger known male-driven story.
But frankly, this book was bad. Dare I say awful.

I should have known by the self-righteous biography on the back flap that this was not going to live up to a book like Loving Frank. The author managed to get three ivy-leaque degrees into her bio and mention her marriage to an evidently famous author. Big deal. Your boo
...more
Sarah
May 03, 2008 Sarah rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fitzgerald fans
Caroline Preston has an easy going and pleasant writing style. In addition, she lets her readers into Ginerva's character well enough that even though she is an unbelievably self centered girl, you end up liking her a lot. She reminds of those people who such a joy to talk to at dinner parties because they have witty observations and are quite clever but you can't have a real relationship with them because they are too self absorbed.

Another insight from Preston is that Ginerva has no idea what
...more
Jinny
Sep 17, 2010 Jinny rated it liked it
Shelves: 09-2010-reads

I enjoyed Gatsby's Girl. The story was sad in many ways: the course of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life; much of Ginevra Perry Granger Pullman's life. But I liked the way Ginevra grew as a person throughout the book, and came to realize her errors and flaws (whether or not this is true of Ginevra King, the real person on which the character is based). I liked that she not only followed Scott's work (originally fueled by curiosity re: what he'd said "about" her) but that she cared what happened to him.
...more
Suzanne
Aug 07, 2015 Suzanne rated it liked it
Interesting fictionalization account of F Scott Fitzgerald' so-called muse and the basis of Daisy Buchanan . The book beginning was well written with many believe able plot twists and characters who themselves resembled the many people of Fitzgerald stories. However, the main character, Ginerva Perry Granger Pullman became taxing and tedious, much like the tortured players in many Fitzgerald pieces. At best the plot slogged into idiocy at the conclusion, with a rather overly dramatic climax that ...more
T.E.
Bitch.
Ginevra Perry, you are such a BITCH.
I hate you, and I hate your stupid, winding, driveling, petty, uninteresting flop of a book...and you are 70 percent of that hatred, you wide-eyed devil's muse, you sickening debutante from the flattest planes of Hell.
You made me sick to my stomach.
You made me actually like the Great Gatsby ten times more than I did at first, because of you and your absurd little life and your having passionate sex with your son's tutor, you predictable little plot twist
...more
Patricia
Feb 02, 2016 Patricia rated it really liked it
Ginevra met F. Scott Fitzgerals at age 16, he was 19. They wrote long love letters to each other some requireing more than one envelope. But alas, it did not last. Scott was already drinking, was not from the same social that was expected of Ginevra suitors. Years later she marries an aviator, but still finds anything about Scott facinating. She see herself in his books.

She is asked to escort his recovering wife to the World' fair. Meets his daughter years after both of her parents have died on
...more
Dell Taylor
Oct 30, 2014 Dell Taylor rated it liked it
My actual rating: 3.25. This fictionalizes account of F. Scott Fitzgerald's first love is based in fact and gives insight both into Fitzgerald's early life but also into the life and personality of Ginerva. It gives and insight into life between 1916 and the late 30s and also into Fitzgerald himself -- already on the road to alcoholism at age 19 -- so sad. He was not really regarded as a "great" author until many years after his death. His star burned brightly for a short while and then went out ...more
Lindsey Sparks
Jul 04, 2016 Lindsey Sparks rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-and-read
This was a highly fictionalized story of F. Scott Fitzgerald's supposed first love. It seems to be an accurate look at how Scott saw Ginevra and used her as a model for some of his characters, but isn't necessarily an accurate portrayal of Ginevra or most of the specific events. I often have trouble liking fiction based on true events when they aren't very accurate and that is an issue here; however I did like the novel itself. I think it might have been better served by using a fictionalized na ...more
Robyn Markow
Apr 05, 2016 Robyn Markow rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Apr 02, 2015 Kris - My Novelesque Life rated it really liked it
4 STARS

"Just as Jay Gatsby was haunted by Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fizgerald was haunted by his own great first love — a Chicago socialite named Ginevra. Alluring, capricious, and ultimately unavailable, she would become his first muse, the inspiration for such timeless characters as Gatsby's Daisy and Isabelle Borge in This Side of Paradise.

Caroline Preston's astute perceptions of her characters and the cultural landscapes they inhabit have earned her work comparisons to to
...more
Lindsay Heller
In a lot of ways I'm sort of ambivalent about this book. I did quite enjoy the story; the youth and middle age of a debutante in the early twentieth century. But I'm not sure it benefited from it's link to F. Scott Fitzgerald. The girl in question is Ginevra Perry. She's beautiful, she's rich, she's popular and because she's bored at her all girls boarding school she decides it would be quite pleasant to fall in love with that young writer from Princeton who she met on a frigid night in St. Paul ...more
Maesie
Sep 07, 2012 Maesie rated it really liked it
I don't know how to review a book. Let's get that out of the way.

I simply put into words what I felt, thought and tasted. Though sometimes I could be harsh when I'm being a book snob, which unfortunately I am.

Gatsby's Girl is a sad, nostalgic love story. It's heartbreaking yet illuminated. The way the characters come alive, the way Ginevra gets under your skin, Scott - blonde, melodramatic, eccentric - everywhere in the background, and Julian. Oh Julian. Julian was gone too soon, but I can stil
...more
Yvonne Powderly
Jan 14, 2011 Yvonne Powderly rated it it was ok
Preston reimagines the life of Ginevra King, F. Scott Fitzgerald's first love and the basis for many of his novel’s leading ladies - Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby ), Isabelle Borge (This Side of Paradise ), and Josephine Perry (The Basil and Josephine Stories ). Fitzgerald meets Ginevra at a party in St. Paul, where she is visiting her boarding-school roommate. The two hit it off and correspond for eight months with only one meeting, until Ginevra looses interest. Ginevra is very self absorbe ...more
Heather
Feb 17, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club-reads
I think I need to start this review off with a confession. This book was selected as the November book club selection and I tend to read my book club books slowly, reading a set number of pages per day so that I've given sufficient time to understanding the story and that it's fresh in my mind when it's time to discuss it. I should have started this book on Tuesday and read 10 pages per day, I picked it up last night (Thursday), fully intended to read only 30 pages to get caught up to where I ne ...more
Raissa
Sep 29, 2012 Raissa rated it really liked it
I decided to read this book because I'm writing a story on marital problems and needed to read something to help me reflect on the topic. My story is contemporary and this is set in the 1920s, but it helped me all the same.

I first liked how the book showed how reading about characters like ourselves can help us reflect on our lives and contribute to self-improvement. Ginevra, the first love of F. Scott, is imagined by the author as a self-centered rich girl. She's not the only one. Just like Edi
...more
Florinda
I think that The Great Gatsby contains some of the most beautiful writing of the 20th century, and F. Scott Fitzgerald's portrayals of the overprivileged, aimless young adults of a society that didn't realize it was on the brink of major change have always appealed to me, as an outsider looking in. As it happens, Fitzgerald was a bit of an outsider in that world himself, and much of his early exposure to it came through his romance with a young Chicago pre-debutante named Ginevra King during his ...more
Mary
Dec 28, 2012 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
Wow. It is hard to imagine a heroine more shallow than Daisy Buchanan, but Caroline Preston managed to pull it off in her novel about Ginevra Perry. Ginevra is loosely based on Ginevra King, a real person, and Josephine Perry, a fictional character from F. Scott Fitzgerald's Josephine stories. There are notes from a conversation with the author included in the back of the book, which is good. Without them I would have thought Fitzgerald mentally impaired in addition to being an alcoholic. Ginevr ...more
Sarah
Sep 30, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm proud to be a Fitzgerald nut. In high school I gobbled up The Great Gatsby and proceeded to read everything that was ever written by him. I even read Zelda's interesting novel and her letters to Scott. Whoa.[return][return]So I gobbled up this fictionalized account of Ginerva, the girl who Scott loved and lost when he was in college. Ginerva was the basis for many of the fickle girls in his novels and short stories, and this account makes everything seem really believable. Ginerva really did ...more
Christine
Mar 19, 2011 Christine rated it liked it
I read this book for school for a project that had something to do with a book related tangentally with a book read earlier this year. We read The Great Gatsby earlier in the semester and my group chose to read Gatsby's Girl. It read really fast and I liked it a lot at the beginning. Towards the end it started to get a little bit predictable and the lady started being an idiot. I have a really hard time with female protagonists for some reason. They don't even have to be the protagonist actually ...more
Michelle
Sep 18, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A glimpse into the life of the gal who may have been F. Scott Fitzgerald's muse... nicely written and an enjoyable story because it's a story that we can all relate to. We have all caught ourselves wondering at some time or another, "If I had chosen that person over this person, how different would my life have been...?"
Desiree
Jan 05, 2015 Desiree rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super fast read. Very interesting. More fiction than historical fiction (according to the author) but when the differences were articulated in the Author's Note, it seemed pretty historical fiction to me. A few names were changed and the conversations were made up but the latter is usually the case anyway. Regardless, a fun read.
Sylvia Fournier
Very interesting book, especially read as a literary pairings book club choice, but not a compelling read for me. It did change my opinion of The Great Gatsby, which the club read first. This pairing was very smart, providing much food for thought and discussion. I now have to go upgrade my rating of The Great one.
Rhe
Jul 10, 2011 Rhe rated it really liked it
I really love books like this. Books that have a basis in fact and are combined with a wonderful writer. That's what I found in Gatsby's Girl. This was a great read and it is evident that a lot of research went into creating this book, that even though there are things that are created from the writer's mind, it sounds so real. A lot of effort was taken into getting the setting and feeling of the book right. And this is just the way I would have imagined the story being in real life. It didn't d ...more
Christine Rebbert
Jun 28, 2013 Christine Rebbert rated it liked it
A book I've owned for years and finally got around to reading. I wasn't as blown away as I thought I'd be -- the whole premise of it seemed to promise so much more. Ginevra Perry is presented as "the girl who got away", inspiring the heroines of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" and "This Side of Paradise" -- both FSF books I have read and re-read ("TSOP" almost every summer from my late teens through my 20's, after I stopped re-reading "Little Women" every summer!) I think I was looking ...more
Dawn
Jul 06, 2015 Dawn rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Certainly (and openly admitted, by the author) a work of fiction based loosely on a few facts and filled with the broad strokes of imagination to round it out, I have to say that if even a fraction of this story is actually true, it explains why I always found "The Great Gatsby" so lonely and depressing. If Daisy was Ginevra and Gatsby was Fitzgerald, himself, it is obvious what a number Ginevra did on him that resounded throughout the remainder of his much too short life. Both Scott and Ginevra ...more
Anne
Feb 28, 2015 Anne rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. A novel loosely based on the life of Ginevra King, thought to be the inspiration for some of F. Scott Fitzgerald's most famous characters, this book stands on its own, and is interesting and well-written.
Jess
Mar 29, 2012 Jess rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: F. Scott Fitzgerald fans
I actually really, really enjoyed this book! I was a bit wary about it for superficial reasons- I'd gotten it for three dollars in a Borders bargain bin last summer, and it seemed like a far-fetched idea. But I found it quite smart and well-written. I loved that it was a story about a woman, not just a tale of Scott Fitzgerald's former flame. The way certain characters were obviously parallels with Fitzgerald's characters (like Millie, who is basically Jordan from "The Great Gatsby) was really c ...more
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As a girl growing up in Lake Forest, Illinois, Caroline Preston used to pore through her grandmother’s and mother’s scrapbooks and started collecting antique scrapbooks when she was in high school. She attended Dartmouth College and received a master’s in American Civilization from Brown University. Inspired by her interest in manuscripts and ephemera, she worked as an archivist at the Peabody/Ess ...more
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