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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  30,668 Ratings  ·  3,445 Reviews
I wish I could tell everyone who thinks we’re ruined, Look closer…and you’ll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed.

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. Befo
Paperback, 371 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published April 9th 2013)
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Kuljit Yes, biological fiction is the best description I think; research done a real person but the plot is fictional.
Linda Try reading Zelda Fitzgerald by Sally Cline. She does a very good job of researching the Fitzgeralds and apparently has had access to Zelda's medical…moreTry reading Zelda Fitzgerald by Sally Cline. She does a very good job of researching the Fitzgeralds and apparently has had access to Zelda's medical records and other information that other writers had not been privy to in the past. I find Zelda and Scott fascinating.(less)
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5th out of 5 books — 1 voter
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2nd out of 10 books — 3 voters

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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Therese Fowler
Mar 08, 2013 Therese Fowler rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Dear Reader,

Many thanks for your interest in Z. You might appreciate knowing a little bit more about what went into the creation of the novel, and why I chose to write fiction about people whose lives are so thoroughly documented in biographies.

Z is fiction, but my research was extensive and thorough, and in telling the story I've stayed very close to the established facts. My personal approach to biographical fiction is to unearth and then represent the truth, even when it contradicts what peo
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This is Zelda Lite. I think this novel will be absolute perfection for readers who just want a quick romp through the years of Zelda's life that are most relevant to her role as the wife of a famous and very troubled writer. There's almost nothing in the book about her life before she met Scott, and only a brief Afterword covering the years from when Scott died in 1940 until her death in 1948.

What you get here is a look at the years when the Fitzgeralds were the golden couple, and Zelda was the
Moira Russell
Mar 27, 2013 Moira Russell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Flat-out terrible. Full of anachronisms and totally wrong speech patterns, and even worse, Scott and Zelda don't sound like themselves at all, and the author wrote pale unconvincing imitations of their letters when volumes of them are available! So disappointing. Not recommended at all.

SAMPLE DIALOGUE: "I went to the window. 'I never woulda thought it. Not like this.' I turned back toward him. 'You're sorta impressive.'"
Apr 06, 2013 Robin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Marry me, Zelda. We'll make it all up as we go."

"Have another glass of champagne and tell me more."

"You'll make it worth my while, right?"

That's it: my whole review. I'll be over here crying in the corner if you need me.

And just in case there was anyone who thought my heart wasn't sufficiently broken this year, Hadley Hemingway showed up here again to make sure it stayed broken. Stop whatever you're doing and go read this, then watch Midnight in Paris then embarrass yourself over twitter by pic
B the BookAddict
Sep 03, 2014 B the BookAddict rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Angela

The Jazz Age was a particularly hedonistic time and few who lived it, came through it unscathed. Zelda and F Scott Fitzgerald certainly did not escape scot-free but after reading this book, my sympathies lie much more with Zelda. In all honesty, I came away from finishing this book feeling immensely sad for Zelda: even given her faults, you can't say she wasn't trying to have a life; a life away from all the booze, the fun, the people. If she'd left Scott, the law denoted that she would lose her
Aug 02, 2013 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is well-researched piece of historical fiction which, notwithstanding the good intentions of the author, falls rather flat. It tells the story of Zelda Sayre Fitgerald's life from the time she met her husband Scott in 1918 until his death in 1940, covering their courtship and marriage, their "Jazz Age" antics in New York, their life together in France, Scott's alcoholism and Zelda's mental health problems. Fowler squarely puts herself in the camp of those who take the view that Zelda's brea
Meg - A Bookish Affair
4.5 stars. I was so excited to get my hands on an ARC of this book. I screamed when I opened the envelope and succeeded in getting my husband to run into the room to see if I had been hurt. To say that this book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2013 would be an understatement. Let me just say that I was most definitely not disappointed. This is such a good book about someone that has often been maligned after her untimely death.

When I was in high school, I read a non-fiction book of love
On Completion:

By the end of the book my heart melted and I did feel empathy for Zelda. For Zelda, but not Scott. If the book is giving you trouble and if what you are looking for is understanding of and empathy for the characters continue to the end.

Yet, I cannot give the book more than three stars. Why?

The first thing I did on completing the book was to search the web for more information about Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (1900—1948) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940). There are two camps - those
Dec 05, 2012 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I hate to say it, but I didn't like this book. I started out with such high hopes: I love Zelda Fitzgerald and I was excited to read a book about her! But the Zelda I knew and loved was not in this book. My Zelda was fiery, charming, tempestuous, spoiled, and selfish. She was mentally ill and her highs were higher than anyone elses'. She was the epitome of The Flapper. This Zelda was a pale imitation of the original, a namby-pamby sentimental girl that the real Zelda would've eaten for breakfast ...more
Jan 24, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Fitzgerald fascination began almost 30 years ago as a student when I read The Great Gatsby, This Side of Paradise and Tender is the Night swiftly followed up by Nancy Milford's excellent biography of Zelda. This new novelisation of Zelda's life is perfectly timed to coincide with the latest movie adaptation of The Great Gatsby and will hopefully stir more interest in this flawed but fascinating couple.

On the surface Zelda seems like a spoiled Southern gal with a taste for the finer things in
Diane S ☔
There is much to admire in this offering about Zelda, her life and of course her and Scott's lives. It is always great to read about this time period, all these writing greats, and always I am left wondering how if they were all forever broke, they managed to drink constantly and travel always. Of course it was hard to read of Zelda, her psyche crumbling and diagnosis of schizophrenia, her years in a mental facility.This is a well written book about interesting people who wrote many of the clas ...more
Dec 24, 2015 ☮Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When my husband took English lit. in college, he did a paper on F Scott Fitzgerald; and over the years he has talked about Zelda being this mad woman who was insanely jealous of Scott’s success, etc. Thus I really looked forward to reading this book, my first foray into Zelda’s world. Although not entirely factual, it is based on letters and known events researched by Therese Anne Fowler. I just loved Fowler’s rendering of the couple’s courtship and early years together. They both were intellige ...more
The first part of this book was delightful. Zelda came across as a very engaging, fun character and the story romped along with her. Scott Fitzgerald however was not presented in such a charming manner and once they are married and we have moved houses and countries with them a few times the pace of the book begins to slow and becomes just a little boring. The last part of the book is where the reader sits up and becomes angry on behalf of poor Zelda and what she has to go through. This is a fic ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Lou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The young Scott Fitzgerald at only twenty-three years of age had been the youngest writer ever to publish a novel with Scribner. He fell in love with the youthful and joyful young southern girl Zelda. It all seemed quite a fairytale arrangement, an officer and a gentleman, youth, fame, and art. The pursuit of his art and his writing life became quite a stumbling block in Zelda’s life especially when she became a moth
Jan 01, 2015 Britany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The life of Zelda Sayre is exciting, glamourous, chilling, and intriguing. This book is historical fiction, but I'd like to believe that it's more accurate to the true character of this amazing woman that was married to F Scott Fitzgerald.

The reputations of their relationship alone makes this one that any reader would be interested in picking up, for me, I couldn't put it down! (Which worked out well, as I was racing against time to finish it for a challenge by year end!) Zelda and Scott came a
May 18, 2013 Patricia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I almost wish I had never read Therese Anne Fowler's Z! It revealed more details about Scott and Zelda's screwed up lives and sadly lacking characters than I wanted to know. I always knew that F. Scott Fitzgerald was an alcoholic, and that Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was probably what would now be diagnosed as bi-polar. But, those serious conditions aren't the problem with Zelda and Scott - it's their plethora of personality and character flaws that make them like a Monet painting (and I'm stealing t ...more
Mar 01, 2015 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald should first and foremost be regarded as a semi-fictional account of the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald and her marriage to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Although the main events of this book are real, proven instances from their tumultuous life together, the perspective put forward is at best imagined by author Therese Anne Fowler. If I had to compare it to another similar style of novel, I would draw comparisons to The Paris Wife by Paula McLain which tells a similar tale ...more
Scott Rhee
Therese Anne Fowler's novel "Z", a fictionalized account of Zelda Fitzgerald and her tumultuous marriage with F. Scott Fitzgerald, may not add anything new to the body of biographical literature available, but for someone like me, who has never read a biography of Zelda or Scott Fitzgerald prior to this book, it is nevertheless a fascinating and enlightening view into the lives of the Fitzgeralds.

History and biographers, according to Fowler in her afterword, have not been kind to Zelda. Or Scott
May 18, 2013 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Real Page Turner

Fowler brings the life and times of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald to Technicolor brightness. This is a work of imagination but it reads as if it was literally true. There are so many legends and larger than fact stories about this couple yet, in “Z”, they come across as human and not stereotypes due to Fowler’s skill. A late 20’s woman who dreams of becoming a professional prima ballerina??? Zelda was eccentric (some would say mentally ill instead or in addition) but her longin
How do you like your Zelda Fitzgerald: Wild child crack up, undoer of F. Scott or misunderstood artist under the thumb of a drunk narcissist? History has given us plenty of versions of the former. But Therese Anne Fowler’s “Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald” is the first I’ve seen that portrays feminine half of the Jazz Age’s hot celebrity couple -- Scelda, anyone? -- as a promising writer/painter/ballerina whose ambition keeps landing her in psychiatric care. In her fictional dramatization of actu ...more
Claire McAlpine
Oct 11, 2013 Claire McAlpine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Once Zelda left her home town she was more interesting to follow, though inevitably by leaving that safe family tradition behind, it was always going to invite challenge if not trouble as these two who in some ways were so meant for each other were also the recipe to each others disaster.

This can't be read isolation from The Paris Wife, The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night, Gertrude and Alice and A Moveable Feast. And even after reading all of that, as the author here points out, no one really
Nov 23, 2015 Petra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"In that alternative world, there might be no Paradise, no Gatsby, none of the hundred or so published stories that readers so love."

With these words, Zelda contemplates what might have been had she not married Fitzgerald.
True or egotistical?
Perhaps we may not have known Gatsby or Paradise but would Fitzgerald have had no stories in him at all or other equally wonderful (or better) stories in him without Zelda?
Who's to say how much a person influences another's life for either the good or the
Michele Weiner
I can't help but think Zelda would be mortified at the thoughts this woman put into her head. The portrait of this extraordinarily talented and troubled woman read like the inner life of a staid, matronly conformist upset that her husband was an alcoholic philanderer who stole her best writing. If only there was more from Zelda's own hand. She wrote a book about the disintegration of her marriage, for heaven's sake, and it's not the hand-wringing, poor me stuff in this book. Or not from what I'v ...more
Apr 29, 2015 E.B. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-giveaway, 2013
Rating and review pertain to the audiobook version of this novel

A Goodreads Giveaway Book
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler
Read by Jenna Lamia

Did I love this book? No. Did I hate this book? Absolutely not. Therese Anne Fowler's Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald provides an interesting fictionalized account of the famed Roaring 20's era and its sweethearts, F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald. Had I read the book, and not listened to it, I probably would have rated it 3 stars. I liked
Jan 08, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read Milford's biography of Zelda, this novelization of her life held few surprises. That's not a bad thing, by the way, it's merely an observation. Because this is a novel, with some supposition (Z's relationship with Hemingway, for example, or her feelings about Scott's alcoholic intake even in the early days) there are liberties that can be taken that a "real" biographer cannot take.

The writing style is interesting. At first it's light and bubbly, with a hint of steel... later, it beco
Apr 25, 2013 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took a while for me to engage with this book. I'm not sure why. It began easily enough but I didn't really enjoy it till midway, at which point I was fully invested in both Fitzgeralds. As things turned darker I felt such sorrow and anger for and at both of them.

The writing is a bit choppy at points but all said it was an interesting read. Their marital struggles never seemed to completely overwhelm their love for each other, even when they hated the other. Is that love or obsession?

No surp
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Over all this was okay. The writing was terrible in some areas, not making sense and down right dreadful. I got this from the library as I'm always interested in reading historical fiction lately and figured this would be good. Kind of. The start was good then went down hill. I finished it and thought about it for a few days.
Jun 28, 2013 Cathie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone interested in the Fitzgeralds and women's lives in the 1920-1940s.
I just loved all things about this book; the writing, the tone, the peek into a time gone by, the lives and hardships of Zelda & Scott Fitzgerald. It's a wonderful novel told in the 1st person narrative of Zelda's voice so what you get is purely The Fitzgeralds based on how Zelda perceived them to be. This is also not a biography so you have truth mixed with fiction, but the fiction is, I think, more geared toward the nuances of the settings and favourable light of Zelda's story. There are a ...more
May 17, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My fascination with the Fitzgeralds is of a never-ending nature; I don't think I could read or know enough about them, which, naturally, only increases my interest in this pair.

When you think about them, you might see them as THE embodiment of the roaring twenties, as well as a cultural power-couple with literary celebrity status, but they were also two deeply complex individuals who had a not so typical, not so sweet love-story, as it was one permeated with jealousy, competitivity and many setb
Jenny (Reading Envy)
May 12, 2014 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read2014
I picked this up to read because the author will be at the SC Book Festival in May, and I see she just had another more southern-themed book come out last week. Perfect timing.

Fowler did a lot of research on the Fitzgeralds for this novel, including reading their letters to each other and to friends. In official accounts, there is just as much myth as fact, and people seem split into blaming Scott or blaming Zelda. This novel dares to imagine a scenario where Zelda is largely not to blame, and q
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  • Save Me the Waltz
  • The Age of Desire
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  • Everybody Was So Young: Gerald and Sara Murphy: A Lost Generation Love Story
  • Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
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“If only people could travel as easily as words. Wouldn't that be something? If only we could be so easily revised.” 50 likes
“Won’t we be quite the pair?—you with your bad heart, me with my bad head. Together, though, we might have something worthwhile.” 21 likes
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