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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  52,760 ratings  ·  5,199 reviews
A dazzling novel that captures all of the romance, glamour, and tragedy of the first flapper, Zelda Fitzgerald.

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. Before long, the "ungettable" Zelda has fallen for him despite his un
ebook, 464 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by St. Martin's Press
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Amy I don't know if I've really seen one with her featured. She's more in the background - I haven't read this one yet, but it's on my list!!…moreI don't know if I've really seen one with her featured. She's more in the background - I haven't read this one yet, but it's on my list!!(less)
Mallory It's fictional, but based on research. I think the genre is called 'biographical fiction.'…moreIt's fictional, but based on research. I think the genre is called 'biographical fiction.'(less)
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Therese Fowler
Mar 08, 2013 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 (Ms. Feisty)
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
Violet wells
A biographer doesn’t need to possess the same level of intelligence, eloquence, wisdom or imaginative reach as her subject because biography is essentially telling, not showing. A novelist, on the other hand, cannot convincingly create a character who is more intelligent, eloquent, wise or more imaginatively complex than she herself is because there will come times when she has to prove it. These make-or-break moments will often arrive in the writing of dialogue.

The author states that “much of
Richard (on hiatus)
Z: A Life of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler is a fictionalised account of the life and times of Zelda Fitzgerald (Format, Audiobook)

Note - I’ve included quite a lot of historical detail in this review (I’ve now realised!) so beware, it might be a bit spoiler-ish if you aren’t acquainted with the life of the Fitzgeralds.

Zelda Sayre grew up in Montgomery Alabama the youngest daughter of Judge Anthony and Minerva Sayre. An old family, well connected and important to the town. As a child an
Mar 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
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.'"
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"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
Mariah Roze
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book for my A-Z book title challenge.

Wow! I really enjoyed this book! I learned so much about the Fitzgeralds and I originally knew very little. Zelda was a fascinating women with bipolar disorder, but most of the book was before her hospitalizations. All I knew about her before the book was that she was married to Scott and had mental health troubles and was in and out of hospitals. This book showed so much more than that. Majority of her life, she was very healthy and active. She
Within historical fiction, my favorite sub-genre is biographical fiction. Thus, I was looking forward to reading this book.

It certainly brings two fascinating characters: Zelda Sayre, who was a reckless Southern belle, and a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Their love was very buoyant. After his successful first publication, they became the toast of the high society. Along the way, they became the emblems of the Jazz Age. But their marriage was very turbulent, whi
B the BookAddict

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
Elyse  Walters
Audiobook... read by Jenna Lamia

Gin, martinis, parties, cigarettes,
Hemingway... (Fitzgeralds buddy)...
drunken nights, enchanting history of the ‘Jazz Age’
marriage quarrels, maids, cooks, governesses,
art, essays, stories, music, little, sleep between activities, writing, painting, interviews,
Fancy hotels and restaurants,
romance, travel, dance lessons, reconciliation, more arguing, sipping brandy, jealousy, public commodities,
entertainment business, ambitions, jokes, men, women, fixation on sens
Jul 27, 2013 rated it liked it

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
Nov 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
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
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
Oct 09, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
3.5 Stars and apparently I’m ready to ring in the Roaring 20s with my selections this week! If you enjoyed The Paris Wife, this should be a winner for you too. I’m not sure what sparked my new Scott and Zelda obsession, but I’m not hating it.
Jan 16, 2013 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
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing

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 mo
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Z a novel of Zelda Fitzgerald is a biographical work of fiction by Therese Anne Fowler. The story takes off in Montgomery, the hometown of a seventeen-year-old Zelda Sayre, who meets soldier F. Scott Fitzgerald. He quickly manages to enchant Zelda, who has never met a professional writer before, and the two fall in love even though her father strongly disagrees with the match.

To me, this was a lovely and intriguing story that carried me away to a different time and different places. I truly see
Apr 24, 2013 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
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm prefacing this review with the disclaimer that I acknowledged this book as a work of fiction right from the get go and relaxed into it as such. What I didn't expect was that it would be an impetus for me to scour the used book sites for biographies on both F.S. Fitzgerald and Zelda Fitzgerald. I have quite a stack to begin to sort through as well as an illustrated educational book on The Jazz Age to peruse. I'm fascinated by the couple, their writings, and am now eager to read accounts of th ...more
Dec 27, 2014 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
Dec 25, 2013 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
Kim Kaso
When I first read The Great Gatsby I was in HS, and was disappointed that the romance between Gatsby and his Daisy ended as it did, and it was just one more book in the Canon of White Mostly Alcoholic Male Writers that cast a pall over my teen-age years. I read A Moveable Feast the summer I started reading all of Hemingway, and read it again while taking an honors seminar in college in Faulkner & Hemingway. I accepted conventional wisdom about Zelda’s being crazy, ruining F. Scott Fitzgerald’s l ...more
Stephanie C
Jul 22, 2022 rated it liked it
What I liked: Theresa Anne Fowler does a splendid job at capturing the tumultuous, dysfunctional, alcoholic, exuberant, and the absolute epitomy-of-a-Jazz Age couple that were the Fitzgeralds, and you truly feel immersed inside the glamour and glitz of fame and fortune during the Roaring Twenties. Told from Zelda's point of view, you see the codependent, rollercoaster relationship with her husband, the notoriously brilliant F. Scott Fitzgerald, and how they became each other's inspiration and ra ...more
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
3 Stars

Zelda Fitzgerald is someone everyone views differently and this book is no exception. It tries to show several perspectives of her life... was she mentally ill? Was her husband in-the-closet? Was she manipulative? There's still so many questions that this one interpretation raises, but never can really answer. This was interesting, but not particularly memorable.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Even now, I wouldn't choose differently than I did.

For me, this was a fascinating biography. I entered it with little knowledge of anything beyond the works of her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald. As it turns out, that gave me an insight into their lives for many of his stories were thinly veiled, fictionalized versions of his dreams and demons. A golden couple of the Jazz Age that skated the edge for too long, the stress of reality and the Great Depression inevitably took a toll on them emotio
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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