Call Me Zelda
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Call Me Zelda

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  1,833 ratings  ·  317 reviews
From the author of Hemingway’s Girl comes a richly imagined tale of Zelda Fitzgerald’s love, longing, and struggle against ever-threatening insanity.

From New York to Paris, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald reigned as king and queen of the Jazz Age, but those who really knew them saw their inner turmoil.

Committed to a Baltimore psychiatric hospital in 1932, Zelda vacillates betwe...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by NAL Trade
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[I received an ARC of this book through the Amazon Vine program. There are mild spoilers in the second-to-last paragraph of the review.]

The planned release in May 2013 of Baz Luhrmann's high-profile film version of THE GREAT GATSBY has led to a spate of books about the lives of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, with at least four novels on the tragic couple recently published or forthcoming. I haven't yet read any of the others, so I can only hope that Erika Robuck's CALL ME ZELDA is the worst of the...more
Moira Russell
Well, apart from the terrible, terrible writing, this book was just Dull, capital-D dull. Maybe two capitals: DDull.
Paul Waibel
It was for me a mistake to read Erika Robuck's CALL ME ZELDA (New York: New American Library, 2013) after having read Therese Flower's Z: A NOVEL OF ZELDA FITZGERALD (2013). Whereas Z kept me turning the pages, CALL ME ZELDA kept me wondering if I should continue reading. A hundred pages into the novel all I could utter is "ho hum."

CALL ME ZELDA is the sort of novel that is enjoyed by ladies who want a somewhat romantic story to pass the time while enjoying a good cup of coffee. It is a good sto...more
Diane S.
After writing Hemingway's Daughter, which I have yet to read, this author felt compelled to write a book about Zelda, seeing as how Hemingway hated her so much. A sentiment Zelda shared. The Fitzgerald's relationship was a very volatile one, Scott was an alcoholic and mental problems ran in Zelda's family. They had a love hate relationship that was brilliantly portrayed in this novel. Although Zelda did have a nurse, the nurse in this story and her relationship with the Fitzgerald's was a litera...more
Shannon Stone
I'm only 1/2 way through this book and I'm torn: I want to finish it tonight, but I also want to savor every scene, every sentence. From page one, I was hooked by the broken yet incredibly strong narrator/heroine, Annie. Also, who doesn't want a look (even if it is fictional) into the Fitzgeralds' tumultuous life, especially Zelda!

Update: I just finished this wonderful novel. I am so glad I did! There are so many books I've read lately that leave me with a meh or blah feeling, but thankfully, Ca...more
I read the galley of Erika Robuck's newest offering, and it literally kept me up into the late hours of the night. Tragic yet edged with a sense of fragile hope, this richly imagined story shines a light on the enormously talented and complex Zelda Fitzgerald and the compassionate psychiatric nurse who came to love her as a friend.
Based on a review written for Shelf Awareness for Readers.

I first encountered Erika's work when I read and reviewed her second novel,Hemingway's Girl, for Shelf Awareness. LikeHemingway's Girl,Call Me Zeldais rich with incredibly well-research historical detail, using the framework of history to build a carefully imagined story--this time centering on the king and queen of the Jazz Age.

Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald were famous in their day, but beneath the shimmering surface of their lives lay a lu
Laura Kay Bolin

The arrival of the famous Zelda Fitzgerald to a Baltimore Psychiatric hospital forever changes the life of her nurse, Anna Howard. Anna has a past all boxed up in her bedroom closet where she'd like to keep it. Her work and weekend trips to her parents are her life, until Zelda walks in.

Zelda is sometimes perfectly normal, but things turn so quickly.She seems to be trying to separate her identity from her famous husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald --she is liter...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
F Scott Fitzgerald remains one of America's most famous novelists, penning such titles as The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Love of the Last Tycoon and many more. But it was his wife Zelda, a flapper and dancer from the 1920s, who was his inspiration, and it was their tumultuous, resentful yet passionate relationship the gave their peers much to talk about. Zelda is a high-strung, emotional, creative woman, a beauty in her day with one child, Frances...more
"Call Me Zelda" is the story of a nurse, Anna, who first cares for Zelda in an asylum and then privately. The story is told from Anna's perspective and is mostly about her interspersed with large dollops of the Fitzgeralds' lives. Robuck is firmly in the anti-Scott group. She attempts to show the gray areas of Zelda's condition emphasizing not only her mental issues but also her creativity which was squashed by Scott's ego. His alcoholism.also fueled Zelda's feelings of abandonment and despair.

Erika Robuck's love, respect and compassion for Zelda Fitzgerald shines through in her beautiful novel, Call Me Zelda. Zelda Fitzgerald has been sorely misunderstood in life and in death, and Robuck clearly set out to set the story straight with meticulous and careful research. She has given us a beautifully written novel which is a must-read for anyone who wants to better acquaint him or her self with the fascinating and multi-talented Zelda Fitzgerald.

Call Me Zelda covers the latter part of Ze...more
Eileen Granfors
The "Brangelina" of the twenties was the "it" couple, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Their excesses and their sad demise have been well documented.

Erika Robuck spins a new tale of well-worn history by choosing an outsider to narrate. The fictitious Anna Howard is a psychiatric nurse. She understands the terrors of the shell-shocked and the oddness of the exceptionally talented. These qualities help Anna to bond with her newest patient, Zelda Fitzgerald.

Zelda's insecurities and eccentricities are mo...more
Mariana Cotromanes

Erika Robuck's third novel, CALL ME ZELDA, tells the story of the fictional relationship between Zelda Fitzgerald and her nurse Anna in the 1930s. It features the story of Zelda "after the party;" a time when she was mentally unstable, having developed what is believed to be schizophrenia, and at the height of practicing her artistic craft (she wrote a novel, "Save Me the Waltz," and short stories, and painted often).

Just like Zelda has suffered, so has Anna (having lost her husband and daughter...more
I actually really enjoyed this book -- it's an interesting new trend in fiction, having a non-famous protagonist tell the story, while the famous character has a supporting role. (Much like "The Chaperone" by Laura Moriarty. If you liked "Call Me Zelda," you'll like that, too.)

While I've always been fascinated by the story (and mythology) of Scott and Zelda, and really loved the excellent biography "Zelda" by Nancy Milford, Zelda has always been a bit of an enigma -- part fabulous flapper, part...more
i was intrigued by this book as i can't usually pass up anything that involves crazy people...even though i'm not too much in to fiction.

i love the era and i enjoy f. scott fitzgerald's works, so i was even more intrigued when i was reading and found that he used zelda's diaries. i didn't even know he was married! his treatment of her was-wow...a very moving story, interesting to see it from a third party-anna.

the only thing i felt was a bit sudden and not as well developed was the relationship...more
Cynthia Mcarthur
Brilliant. This book was brilliant. Not only did the author follow the historical details, but she created characters who were fully-developed and real. The insight the author has into Zelda's mental illness is all lent to Nurse Anna as she cares for and bonds with Zelda Fitzgerald, sometimes seemingly to her own detriment. Nurse Anna has her own past, full of war, loss and unimaginable suffering, and as her story slowly unfolds,as she slowly gives more of herself to her patient, so does Zelda's...more
Told from the viewpoint of a fictional character, Nurse Anna, "Call me Zelda" is a fresh and rich perspective into the Fitzgerald's turbulent marriage where Zelda persistently struggles to define herself and create an identity separate from her husband. Despite a marriage strained by mental illness, alcoholism, artistic competition and jealousy, moments of tenderness occasionally emerge between Scott and Zelda. I especially appreciated the complexity of character that Erika Robuck was able to ac...more
Britney Bennett
I won this book in a First Reads giveaway.

This book is a fictional novel about the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the life of his wife, Zelda Fitzgerald during her spiral into madness. It is narrated through her psychiatric nurse who develops a great bond with her. I found this to be a fantastic book that I couldn't set down. Also, after reading this novel, I want to read more of Fitzgerald's literature and also the book Zelda wrote herself called Save me the Waltz. I'll be sure to read more of...more
Nelda Brangwin
I enjoyed HEMINGWAY'S GIRL because it showed me a world with which I had little familiarity. It is the same with CALL ME ZELDA. F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife lead a tortured life. Told by the psychiatric nurse who cared for Zelda both in the hospital and at home, Zelda never becomes a likeable person, but you come to understand her a little more. At the end all I could say was wealth and a life of partying doesn't make a happy person. I wonder if F. Scott Fitzgerald was that controlling. It is a we...more
Jolina Petersheim
I loved Erika Robuck's Hemingway's Girl and Call Me Zelda was just as captivating! I really enjoy learning about my literary heroes through the heroines who exist only in Robuck's talented mind. She brings them to life so deftly that Anna Howard's uncertainty -- as she tries to navigate the Fitzgerald's heartbreaking, tantalizing love without letting it resurrect her own pain -- felt like my own. Recommend Call Me Zelda for readers of historical fiction, lovers of The Jazz Age, or anyone who jus...more
I really enjoyed this read! The plot wasn't complicated but the characters were! I felt Anna was a very well developed character and could have had a book only about her! The friendship, art, and choices of the characters I thought were well thought out, interesting, and engaging. I wrote a longer review here for my new book blog. ^_^

This sparked my interest in the Fitzgeralds, and I think I'll be reading more about them in the future!
A lot of story. A lot of potential but a little everywhere. Doing a little too much. Not enough accuracy for this avid Historical Fiction reader. Okay.

I'd just finished reading another book taking place in the Jazz Age 1920's. I was still in the frame of mind to read something involving this time period, so it made perfect sense to pick Call me Zelda off the shelf next. I knew "Zelda" was an implication to the infamous Zelda Fitzgerald, F. Scott's crazy wife. I've read many things which allud...more
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
The always fascinating Fitzgeralds make for a compelling and interesting story told from the fictional perspective of Zelda's psychiatric nurse. There are many questions, conflicts, and characters here that will contribute to a lively discussion, as I'm sure each reader will come to different conclusions and opinions.

This title is a must for Fitzgerald fans and would be an invigorating choice for a book discussion group.
Robyn Markow
At first I was disappointed that this book wasn't about Zelda & her husband,legendary writer F.Scott Fitzgerald, wild partying days but after a slow start this book drew me in with it's portrayal of Zelda's being hospitalized in a progressive clinic & daily battle with keeping her sanity(she sounded Bi-Polar,however,not Schizophrenic as she's diagnosed in the book, but I don't think they knew about Manic Depression back then) With the help of the fictional Anna Howard, a compassionate nu...more
Dana Brittan
This is a historical fiction about Zelda Fitzgerald and her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story is primarily about Zelda and her friendship with a nurse that she met during one of her stays at a psychiatric hospital. The author lists a long bibliography and accounts a lot of documented history about this once very famous couple. I found in to be fascinating.
I admit this book is heartbreaking in its brutal honesty in depicting Zelda and Scott, but the story Erika Robuck has created is beautiful. How I hope Zelda had a friend something like Anna. I cried reading the last pages. Zelda so misunderstood and tormented, I wish she'd had a different outcome. So wonderfully written!!
Erika Marks
Beautifully textured and deeply felt, CALL ME ZELDA is a rich and tender novel, filled with characters you only think you know, and one woman who you've yet to meet, who seeks to soothe an infamously wounded woman, and her equally ruptured marriage--while questioning the complexities of her own heart.
I found Call Me Zelda interesting in many ways. I was impressed with the narrator being Anna. Anna's voice added another avenue of interest as well as her own tragic past plumping the plot overall. Her characterization is well done and Anna shines in a positive light with her many attributes and natural caregiver persona. Her dedication and affection towards Zelda was touching, crossing her professional line but aware of her continuing affronts. Always having Zelda's interest at the forefront d...more
Lauren Bell
This book was such a beautiful, haunting, and enjoyable read. A deep story into the intricate details of the Fitzgeralds' lives along with their nurse Anna, who loves and cares deeply for Zelda.
Call me a bigger fan of Erika Robuck's writing after finishing “Call Me Zelda”... I loved it as much as “Hemingway's Girl”. I started reading this book with very limited knowledge of F. Scott and his wife Zelda Fitzgerald; a heartbreaking journey of celebrity to traumatic despair and ruin.

Through the eyes of Anna Howard, a nurse at a psychiatric hospital we see the breakdown of Zelda Fitzgerald's shattered marriage to the infamous writer and her continuing instability. Not to take away from what...more
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ERIKA ROBUCK self-published her first novel, RECEIVE ME FALLING. Her novel, HEMINGWAY'S GIRL (NAL/Penguin), was a Target Emerging Author Pick, a Vero Beach Bestseller, and has been sold in two foreign markets to date. Her novel, CALL ME ZELDA (NAL/Penguin), was released on May 7th, and was a Southern Independent Bookseller Bestseller for multiple weeks. Her next novel, FALLEN BEAUTY (NAL/Penguin)...more
More about Erika Robuck...
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“Remembrance. Even more, confession. It did always made the heavy things come loose.” 3 likes
“The past would haunt when the present let up, and always, always the future would loom with its certainty of tragedy and pain.” 3 likes
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