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Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald Audiobook

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Picture a late-May morning in 1918, a time when Montgomery wore her prettiest spring dress and finest floral perfume - same as I would wear that evening.... Thus begins the story of beautiful, reckless, 17-year-old Zelda Sayre on the day she meets Lieutenant Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald at a country club dance. Fitzgerald isn’t rich or settled; no one knows his people; and he wants, of all things, to be a writer in New York. No matter how wildly in love they may be, Zelda’s father firmly opposes the match....
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Publisher's Summary

"An utterly engrossing portrayal of Zelda Fitzgerald and the legendary circles in which she moved. In the spirit of Loving Frank and The Paris Wife, Therese Anne Fowler shines a light on Zelda instead of her more famous husband, providing both justice and the voice she struggled to have heard in her lifetime."
—Sara Gruen

"Picture a late-May morning in 1918, a time when Montgomery wore her prettiest spring dress and finest floral perfume - same as I would wear that evening...."

Thus begins the story of beautiful, reckless, 17-year-old Zelda Sayre on the day she meets Lieutenant Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald at a country club dance. Fitzgerald isn’t rich or settled; no one knows his people; and he wants, of all things, to be a writer in New York. No matter how wildly in love they may be, Zelda’s father firmly opposes the match. But when Scott finally sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, Zelda defies her parents to board a train to New York and marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Life is a sudden whirl of glamour and excitement: Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel - and his beautiful, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, trades in her provincial finery for daring dresses, and plunges into the endless party that welcomes the darlings of the literary world to New York, then Paris and the French Riviera. It is the Jazz Age, when everything seems new and possible - except that dazzling success does not always last.

Surrounded by a thrilling array of magnificent hosts and mercurial geniuses - including Sara and Gerald Murphy, Gertrude Stein, and the great and terrible Ernest Hemingway - Zelda and Scott find the future both grander and stranger than they could have ever imagined.

©2013 Therese Anne Fowler (P)2013 Macmillan

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (699 )
5 star
 (312)
4 star
 (254)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.1 (626 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (622 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    B. White Memphis, TN 10-27-13
    B. White Memphis, TN 10-27-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    69
    5
    FOLLOWERS
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    2
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    Story
    "Not A Good Introduction"

    I am not sure how much of the blame to assign to the author, and how much to Scott for this story being so depressing, and at times even infuriating. Long before it ended I wished that Zelda had done as her father bid, and married a nice rich Southern boy, and remained in a town where she was loved and in all her daring and eccentricity still supported and possibly understood.

    Although I am familiar with Scott's works, this was my introduction to the Fitzgeralds, and I would not wish to meet them again. I am strongly considering returning the book. I doubt I will read anything written by the author again. It was too fluffy at times, skimming what might be considered common knowledge, and focusing on the gaps as she fills them in with her own imagination, like a lumpy cake with too much icing. It was uneven in my perception due to this, I felt as though I had to Google my way through the book, filling in details.

    Ultimately the book was Scott's story, you might hate him after this. What a despicable person in Fowler's hands, and I don't want to waste more time investigating, seeking any clues to the contrary. He and Hemingway made me sick, the doctors made me angry, and Z just made me sad, both the woman and the novel. I regret the purchase.

    * * *

    Jenna Lamia's narration was fine, although a bit uneven. She starts strong, her pacing and voice thoughtful and evocative, but later on she loses her focus and speeds up, seeming to forget that she's portraying a first person who is Southern and genteel and from an earlier time. It pulled me out of the story a few times. Still, she's one of the best Southern voices I've ever heard in narration, it never felt forced or fake, and this from a Southerner who takes that upper case "S" seriously.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen 04-10-13
    Helen 04-10-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    56
    10
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "It is barely allright"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator and the author... but that's it.


    If you’ve listened to books by Therese Anne Fowler before, how does this one compare?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jenna Lamia’s performances?

    Probably not


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    It made Zelda's Fitzgerald's life boring....

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bridget 04-17-16
    Bridget 04-17-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Beautiful Story, Stunning Narration"

    This story is beautifully written and Jenna Lamia's soft Southern accent pours out of her mouth like honey. Therese Anne Fowler has written something so exquisite, that I feel as if I know Zelda Fitzgerald, now. I KNOW her. My heart is completely full.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tatoom mexico 04-12-16
    tatoom mexico 04-12-16 Member Since 2015

    elizabeth

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
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    0
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    Story
    "Enjoyed it a lot!"

    I've read reviews that complain that it is not accurate, but the author clarifies that this is fiction based on real people. Without giving thought into that, I enjoyed it as a good romance and insight into the life of a very interesting woman in a very interesting age. I enjoyed veru much the reading by Jenna Lamia and I think that definitely contributed to situating my mind on the context and feeling closer to Zelda.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Stewart 04-07-16
    Ray Stewart 04-07-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
    ratings
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    186
    84
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Story
    "Multitalented Woman"

    This story grew on me over time. In the beginning it seems too detailed, but the longer I listened to it, the more impressed I became with Zelda's spunk. I hope the real Zelda was as awesome a personality as the historical-fiction version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    serine 04-03-16
    serine 04-03-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    103
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    328
    156
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    FOLLOWING
    8
    1
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    Story
    "Historical fiction at its best!"

    This novel, which focuses on the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, began as any typical historical fiction novel, introducing the reader to Zelda and her famous husband to-be, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I often listen to historical fiction when I jog at the gym to make the time pass. Since this novel was fairly standard, I decided it wasn't captivating enough to use as a workout book. So, I listened each night before bed. Eventually I came to realize that what I was reading was a thoughtful, fictionalized portrayal of a woman who was living a life that mirrors that of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's as relayed in The Yellow Wallpaper. This 1920-1940s glimpse into fame, love, frustration, and madness was deeply satisfying to read.

    When Zelda was young, she viewed the world in an impractical manner, as many young people do. The author captures her transition from young naive girl to confused woman, always trying to navigate social rules, family ties, inner drives and impulses, love, the darkness within herself, and a desire to break free from it all. This book provides a very rich description of the obstacles that stood in her way, some of them self imposed and some of them barbaric external forces.

    Zelda's life was inextricably tied to Ernest Hemingway and some other famous people from the 1920s literary, art, music, and feminist scenes. That served as an added bonus to make this novel even more captivating. I will think about this book for a long time to come.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Camila 03-28-16
    Camila 03-28-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "I still can't get through the book"
    What did you like best about Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald? What did you like least?

    I was really excited to read this, but every time I try I fall asleep. The reader's voice is like a lullaby. I will keep trying, but sleeping kind of gets in the way of being able to really enjoy/review this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Gonzalez 03-18-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Story
    "page turner"

    Incredible insight into that period. Zelda is bigger than life. I couldn't wait to find out what crazy thing they would do next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shirley Ujest Hogwarts 03-16-16
    Shirley Ujest Hogwarts 03-16-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    "The Jazz Age story English classes never told"

    A wonderfully written story showing a complex, dimensional view of Zelda my classes never shared

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bossiflossi 12-28-15
    Bossiflossi 12-28-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Phenomenal"

    Entertaining educational the narrator is one of the best I've heard. Easy to get lost in the story telling

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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