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Gatsby's Girl

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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  934 ratings  ·  136 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
...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  934 ratings  ·  136 reviews


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Kris - My Novelesque Life
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
RATING: 4 STARS

Ever since I read (and enjoyed) The Great Gatsby, I have been fascinated with the Jazz Age, Fitzgerald and other writers of his time. I found this to be an interesting book whether you like the Jazz Age or not. Much like her first book, Jackie by Josie, I was hooked from the first chapter. Before Zelda there was Ginerva - the girl Fitzgerald based Daisy on from The Great Gatsby. This novel tells the story of Ginerva and for me, it gives more heart to The Great Gatsby.
Brittany
Nov 03, 2010 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 17, 2012 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
...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
...more
Mandy
Nov 05, 2008 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
...more
Jinny
Sep 11, 2010 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
Sarah
May 03, 2008 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
Suzanne
Jul 25, 2015 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
Jasmine
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While reading this, I fell in love with F. Scott Fitzgerald all over again. I felt so bad for how Ginerva treated him. I had to do everything in my might not to cry when I got to the ending. I really suggest reading this.
Heather
Feb 17, 2009 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 ...more
Toni
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic historical fiction based on the actual lives & letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald's and his muse, his first love, Ginevra King. In the book the author fictionalizes her name to Ginevra Perry and gives the most stimulating account of life of pre-war debutantes who quickly didn’t necessarily want to or were forced to change with post WWI, closely followed by the stock market crash. Then with all the social & technological changes brought on by both wars.

I love how the author weaves
...more
Michelle (Champ)
I have to read this Caroline Preston because I have really enjoyed two of her other books lately. This one didn't have the ephemera that the first did, it was all story. Ginerva is a wealthy debutante kind of girl, whose parents are borderline snobbish. She is a little rebellion and gets in trouble with a boy, to make her more responsible her parents will ship her off to boarding school. Ginerva falls into her old ways of being a rebel rather quickly as this all-girl school. She will attend a ...more
Stacy
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I actually finished this book very quickly. I knew nothing about Fitzgerald having a first lost love and basing so many of his characters on her, most notably Daisy. Even though this was a fictionalized turn it seems the author did her research and was true to the natures of her subjects. Reading this made me want to go back and re-read some Fitzgerald works I am familiar with and seek out some that I am not. It also sent me in search of more works by this author.
Dawn
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lent
I loved this book the story was well written and kept my interest. It was an "I can't put this book down" kind of read. You just can't help falling in love with poor dreamy Scott Fitzgerald as a young college student smitten with a debutante. The writer's interpretation of Ginerva was engaging, you could not help but hate her, feel sorry for her, and cheer for her. A must read
Tracy Richard
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book because I lived in Lake Forest, IL and could picture all the locations. Especially good for a F. Scott Fitzgerald lover. Supposedly the gal in the book was Fitzgerald’s inspiration for Daisy in the Great Gadsby.
Bamboozlepig
Jan 25, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF. Second strikeout last night. Ginerva was bland and about as fun as watching paint dry. Too much tell and not enough show. Seriously, who writes something like: "'I guess so,' I said in a soft, sad voice."
Zion
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paulina Skowrońska
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've always been fascinated by Scott Fitzgerald so when I stumbled upon this book I knew I had to read it. It didn't disappoint me. It was well-written, with interesting plot and amazing characters. The fact that it's based on a true story that the author explains at the end is a plus.
Olivia Pritchard
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really easy read. Transported me to the time period and the lifestyle she lived.
Christine
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Another interesting read... people so easily tear down their own future without even realizing it.
Robyn Markow
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Raissa
Sep 23, 2012 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
...more
Lindsey Sparks
Nov 17, 2015 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 ...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
Aug 24, 2012 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
...more
Yvonne Powderly
Jan 14, 2011 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 ...more
Mary
Dec 28, 2012 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. ...more
Christine
Apr 23, 2009 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 ...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 ...more
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