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Publisher's Summary

THE INSPIRATION FOR THE TELEVISION DRAMA Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING

"When I saw that Amazon Prime was unveiling its original pilot for Z, a biographical series based on Therese Anne Fowler's novel about Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, I raised a wary eyebrow. . . But I was wrong, oh me of little faith. . . [I]t's an enveloping period piece, perfectly cast, and I would like to see the pilot green-lighted into a series so that we can see this romance go up like a rocket with one loud champagne pop and strew debris across mansion lawns and luxury hotel lobbies in its transcontinental path." —Vanity Fair

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. Before long, the "ungettable" Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn't wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner's, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick's Cathedral and take the rest as it comes.

What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel—and his witty, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, adopts daring new fashions, and revels in this wild new world. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera—where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.

Everything seems new and possible. Troubles, at first, seem to fade like morning mist. But not even Jay Gatsby's parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous—sometimes infamous—husband? How can she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott's, too? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda's irresistible story as she herself might have told it.

©2013 Therese Anne Fowler (P)2013 Macmillan

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  • Performance
  • Story

Great Read!

What made the experience of listening to Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald the most enjoyable?

I read the book and I needed to listen to something at work. I loved the book so much that I thought I get the audiobook at work and it was just great. Couldn't help but work and still listening to the adventures of Zelda.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Zelda, of course.

Have you listened to any of Jenna Lamia’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I have not.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! Just perfect for one setting.

Any additional comments?

Just enjoyed the book tremendously.

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  • Lacy
  • WAXAHACHIE, TX, United States
  • 01-13-17

What tragic lives these 2 had!

I have always been enamored by the 1920s. Little did I know, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald were responsible for shaping the "Jazz Age" into what it was!

Their lives were filled with partying, drinking, and erratic behavior. F. Scott was always trying to reach that ever elusive fame and Zelda was always chasing her purpose in life. They were really toxic for one another. Both had addictive personalities! Zelda was better off without him!

I can see how she was Daisy Buchanan and he would be Gatsby. He was always trying to prove himself to her as this magnificent writer. Both struggled with identity.

When you read this book, you will not like F. Scott nor Ernest Hemingway. It will be a little difficult to keep up with the friends in their ever-growing circle. They were well-known back in the 20s & 30s but people nowadays wouldn't know who they are so it was hard for me to picture them.

It was a good book!

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An incredibly well read tragedy

I cannot believe how good this story was read, each accent performed was superb. The story on the other hand was surprisingly tragic, well written, and very insightful, but difficult emotionally at times. I certainly wouldn't take back reading it!

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  • Mariadela
  • Coral Springs, FL, United States
  • 11-12-16

Loved loved this book

Wasn't very familiar with the history of the Fitzgeralds so the more I read the more I loved it! Very interesting and wild lives this 2 led. I enjoy historical fiction and this one was one the best ones I've read so far!

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fun gut wrenching sad ?????

tells a perfect story of a not so perfect woman. and all the shit she endured because of a greedy husband. and tells a short story of a greedy husband that put the drink before his wife and daughter.

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  • ME
  • 06-22-16

Incredible narration!

What an insightful story! Ms. Fowler really enlightened me with her well-researched interpretation of Zelda & F. Scott's journey.

The narration was absolutely exquisite. Ms. Lamia has such a range of character voices, and switched so fluidly between Southern, Yankee, & French accents! Bravo!

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  • lauren
  • BLEIBLERVILLE, TX, United States
  • 06-06-16

written and performed brilliantly

Great story depressing as all get out... but great! There are times of all emotions in this work... depiction is perfect!

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loved it

loved it. enjoyed the performance as much as the story. would recommend ro my friends.

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  • hcal
  • Illinois, USA
  • 05-30-16

Not a feel good story, but a great listen!

Great Narration! I was not familiar with the story of the Fitzgeralds, unlike many who reviewed this book, but I learned a lot about them. I really appreciate that the author brought to life both the highs and lows of their life together.

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Literary Women of the Early 20th Century

Zelda Sayre was a seventeen-year-old Southern belle when she met Scott in 1918. After Scott sold This Side of Paradise the two married and began the decadent life for which they are now well-known. Known as the quintessential Jazz Age couple, these two did nothing halfway. They partied hard, fought hard, hit rock bottom more than once, and were forever on the move.

The Fitzgeralds are known for their excessive alcohol intake, Scott's writer's block, money problems, and bouts with mental illness. Therese Anne Fowler fleshes out these details and connects them with living, breathing individuals. I found Zelda to be a very sympathetic character in Fowler's hands. I think many women can relate to the conflict between Zelda's desire to make something of herself and the expectations placed upon her by family and society. Scott, for all his contributions to modernist literature, is not particularly modern in his ideas of family life. Fowler also does a nice job conveying the Fitzgerald's codependency. The Fitzgerald's really were a mess. I can definitely understand why Zelda ended up having a breakdown. I feel for everyone who suffered from a mental illness in the past. The reeducation portions of the book, in particular, just sicken me.

I love reading about the other famous folk that Fitzgerald's partied with: The Steins, the Murphys, Picasso and Olga, Ford Maddox Ford, and many more. Ernest Hemingway comes across as a colossal jerk in Z.

Zelda was a talented person in her own right. She published many short stories (though several also include Scott's name on the byline) and a novel, and she was an artist and a ballet dancer.

I loved the audiobook performance. I highly recommend it.