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9781250028655_custom-4188299bd401473127a3e1bf8d1ea1aad9b50518-s6-c10Reviewed by Krystal Larson

Zelda Sayre met F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance. Little did she know that her life would change, both for the worse and the better, after that single meeting. Later on in the book, she finds herself in a turbulent marriage. Zelda navigates a potential love interest, many different settings like New York City, and finding her own fulfillment. Between her bipolar disorder and her troubles with Scott, Zelda leads the reader through the twists of her unusual life.

I expected Zelda’s character to be odd, but was surprised by what I read. She threw herself down the stairs in anger when Scott flirted with someone else, gave her underwear to a departing author, and so on. She was later found to have had bipolar disorder, but the behavior in the book still seemed a little odd. She had an air about her that made it difficult to know just what she would do next. Scott was much as I expected: moody, temperamental, somewhat flirtatious, etc. The two made quite the pair. Most readers will recognize the people Fitzgeralds hobnobbed with. The name-dropping was surprisingly impressive and added some more historical significance.

Throughout Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Zelda was feisty and fiery; there were some portions where her character dropped in energy, but I felt as if I was flying through her life most of the time. The author, Therese Anne Fowler, handles the other “famous” and “infamous” characters such as Hemingway and Scott very well. That said, the book is meant to focus on Zelda and the author keeps the plot from straying from her much.

I had to read the book rather quickly and would recommend for others to do the same. Unless you know a lot about the Fitzgeralds’ lives, it is easy to set the book down and then become confused by the events in the current chapter. Fowler richly describes the settings, allowing Zelda to add her own zest and flavor to historical areas such as the French Riviera and Hollywood. Overall, this book is strongly recommended to readers who enjoy strong female main characters and/or history.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Krystal is a young college student who loves meeting new authors and finding great books! Her favorite place to read is the Botanic Gardens.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.