"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."
"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
While I enjoyed the majority of this book, I doubt I would ever listen again.
The first half of this story was just great! Zelda is a wonderful character who unfortunately, married a complete jerk. "Scott" was such an insecure man. While he ladled her with jewels and furs, it was never out of kindness. Zelda was nothing more than a prop to help boost his self image.
Jenna Lamia was the reason I chose to finish this book. The book is written in the first person. Ms. Lamia's voice was 100% Zelda Fitzgerald. While listening to the voice of a southern debutante could possibly make a listener run away, Ms. Lamia's interpretation was very pleasant and actually inviting.
I would love to spend an afternoon with Zelda. But I cannot imagine dinner with these folks, as I am not one to drink my dinner.
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
Zelda falls flat, in my opinion. It reads as if the author took a biography of Zelda (and Scott) and just inserted some voices. It never comes alive. Of course, one wants to compare this to The Paris Wife, however it doesn’t hold up at all. The Paris Wife was alive and this is dead. That’s the only way I can put it.
I only enjoyed it because I am enthralled or interested in that literary period and with the whole Bohemian writer in Paris thing, which includes Scott and Zelda. Learning about the life of the Fitzgeralds was interesting, and the reading was easy and pretty quick, so I did enjoy it for that.
The narrator seemed to get Zelda Fitzgerald's 'voice' spot-on. I am very familiar with many writers and artists from this time period, and Zelda Fitzgerald is often dismissed as a sort of appendage to her husband, or as someone who held him back. While both of these things are at least partially true, this book helps to give a much more nuanced portrait, not only of Zelda herself, but also of her husband and the world they lived in. It made Zelda not just sympathetic and likable, but also really gave me some insight into the qualities that made her so irresistible to her husband and the generation she came to help represent.
Zelda! Scott doesn't come off at his best here, I've always thought Hemmingway sounded like a jerk, and although all of these Jazz Age people are very well-drawn, it is a book about Zelda, after all, and her perspective is really interesting. There was a lot more to her than I had realized.
If you enjoy reading authors of the 1920s or that period in history, you may already be familiar with many of the characters here and I think you will find a fascinating interpretation here of their personalities. If you have only heard a little about Zelda Fitzgerald, as the famous flapper married to the brilliant and troubled Scott, you will find a much deeper portrait of her as a person. Either way, it is a charming and engrossing listen.
Say something about yourself!
I am bored with many books and this story held my interest all the way through. It is well written and well performed. I can say I was sad when I was done. I will read more by this author. Jenna Lamia did a superb job.
No. I would love to read the novel, but Lamia's horrible fake southern accent ruined this audiobook for me. Born and raised in the south, I've heard every kind of drawl imaginable, but hers is decidedly bad. From the repeated mispronunciation of Sidney Lanier's name to the often Irish-sounding effect of trying to hard to fake the dialect, all of Zelda's narrative was like nails on a chalkboard to a Southerner.
Zelda not being able to recall whether she'd actually gone swimming in the fountain!
They should have hired a true southerner to perform this role if they wanted to achieve a deep southern drawl. Lamia's is obviously and painfully false and overwrought.
The real story of the first American flapper.
glamorous, worldly, tragic
There's simply no way I could pick one...seriously.
Jenna Lamia blew me away! Will look for her as much as the titles! This book was almost exhausting. It was as if I was following Zelda and Scott step for step. What a ride! I hate the lack of a happy ending...a happy 'anything', in the lives of this couple...but it was compelling.
Jenna Lamia is a wonderful narrator and she was just perfect as Zelda Fitzgerald. The story is fascinating. A beautiful portrait of a misunderstood woman and her fragile marriage to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Jazz age Paris is portrayed in all it's crazy glamour. I think this will appeal to all who give it a listen.
I would warn my friends away from this book. I always enjoy a fictional autobiography, but this book took interesting people and creative genius and turned into a mundane melodrama.
Narration was fine. Maybe a tad shrill.
A movie about Scott and Zelda bickering? No thanks.
I would listen again! There are so many things going on that it's possible to miss something the first time.
Zelda of course! I was named after her and am in awe of her. During a time when society thought that a woman couldnt possibly be happy if she wasnt a wife and mother. Zelda knew that she had a mind of her own, her own opinions, thoughts and emotions and didnt think anything of expressing her opinion. She was open to new things, unconventional things, egar to experience new people and places.
Zelda.....I loved the first person account and always enjoy Jenna's portrails, she really makes a story come to life.
Yes, once I got started I didnt want to stop.
Great listen, insite into a faciniating women during a faciniating time.
Like the Paris Wife, a compelling story of the wife of F Scott Fitzgerald, and another who suffers as the wife. The narrator does an excellent job with Zelda, though the portrayal of Scott wasn't as good and sounded rather forced. I would recommend this book/listen.
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