Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Fowler, Therese Anne

  12 Reviews

'Behind every successful man there stands a woman', so the saying goes. In this instance, it is Zelda, wife of the legendary Scott who is emerging into the limelight. This is her story: her romance and marriage to the aspiring writer, and the high flying self-destructive life they lead to the full. It is glamour, it is tragedy, it is a time for breaking the rules and Zelda breaks them all.

With glimpses of the famous celebrities of the day, through to the nuts and bolts of the literary world they inhabit, this is a captivating and entertaining novel of the Jazz Age that gives voice to an intriguing and complex woman struggling to establish her own distinct identity. [Small font]

Comments from Groups

We had a very animated discussion. Found the book interesting, although no one "really enjoyed" it. We would like to read more about the characters to gain a better insight. A more factual, non-fictionalised account would be interesting. Ashburton 003

Our book club members enjoyed this book - reminding us of an era of excess long gone now, but producing a number of famous literary figures. A good read. Nelson 048

An excellent fictionalised biography of a fascinating woman. We all enjoyed it, and felt the author's reason for Hemingway's dislike of Zelda to be a reasonable supposition. All important facts and dates were observed, and the author was honest in her notes and acknowledgements of any deviation in fact (ie. Zelda's letters). Thoroughly recommend. Wellington 041

This book was enjoyed by the whole group, who had a great deal of sympathy for Zelda. It was felt that her mental problems were caused by her controlling husband, rather than by any innate medical condition. This was considered to be a well-written book which, as well as telling the story of the Fitzgeralds, gave a good insight into the time between the two world wars, especially relating to the creative talents gathered in Europe. Christchurch 277

Hmm....a wide diversity of opinion. Most thought it well-written: some complained of inaccuracies; all of us disliked the pair of them finding them shallow, egotistical and cruel. We had an interesting discussion though, about how womens' lives have changed! Auckland 009

Those who read the book all enjoyed it. Some had read earlier biographies of F.S Fitzgerald, but enjoyed this one more. Great notes and questions, which provoked lots of discussion on this era, the social structures of the time, and the portrayal of women. Morrinsville 001



At the beginning of each session we each, in turn, tell everyone our thoughts of the book for that month. There was much furrowing of brows and pursed lips. Overall we were mostly left unmoved by 'Z'. It wasn't terrible and at times was quite interesting. One said she did enjoy it as knew nothing of the couple prior to reading.
Most members enjoyed the book and it provoked a good discussion.
Most thought it a very enjoyable read and a great insight into the decadent life-style of the poets, authors and artists (mentioned in the book) in the 20s... We all felt that the book 'The Paris Wife' was a great companion book, giving an account of the fraught relationships of both the Fitzgeralds and Hemmingways through the eyes of the wives.
NGON 001
We were disappointed with the book, feeling it did not live up to its review. Some found it badly written, and overall we didn't think the author gained our support for the idea that Zelda was a good writer herself. Some of us felt the lives described were so shallow as to lack interest.
We all read and enjoyed the book. A glimpse into another world, with famous peoples' names dropped at random. Lots of good discussion - mainly about how women see themselves these days.
Most of the group enjoyed the book. We thought the middle of the book dragged a bit, and we wanted to learn more about Zelda's mental illness as it seemed an influential time in her life, but overall we enjoyed the book.
Fascinating and well-researched eye opening account of possibly what Zelda and Scott were like and the time in which they lived.
CHCH 063
Very lively discussion with varying opinions on where sympathies were.
Generated good discussion, and provided a good read for a couple traipsing around in campervans. Everyone read ( and completed) this book, a glimpse of an earlier and very different time.
Most really liked this book. Promoted lively discussion.
AUCK 248
Mixed reactions to this book. Some loved it. Some liked it but didn't find it a page turner. It generated a fair bit of discussion and seemed to stay with most of us after we finished it. Would recommend to other groups.
CHCH 299
Enjoyed by everyone in the group. The lively writing style made it a fast read and it had vivid descriptions of life of the wealthy in 1920s New York and France. A good discussion book as members had different opinions on whether Zelda was a victim of a controlling man, or someone with mental health problems which may have been exacerbated by her lifestyle but not caused by them, and whether it was accurate in its depiction of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald's marriage, or overly sympathetic to Zelda.