Publishing year: 2013
I read “The Great Gatsby” many years ago, and it is not one of my favourite books.
Apart from that, Scott Fitzgerald is quite unknown to me. This is a novel about Zelda, his wife. The prologue takes place in 1940, and Zelda writes a letter to Scott from her hometown, Montgomery in Alabama. Scott is in Hollywood, trying to write his next book. From her words we learn that they have been apart for a while. Zelda has had mental problems and was committed to a mental hospital for a while while Scott is having his own fight with alcohol.
After the prologue the novel takes us back to 1918. Zelda is almost eighteen, and we see that she is quite a wild, rebellious girl. She is the youngest child of an important, traditional man, who is a judge, and she has a brother and three sisters. Her brother and brothers-in-law are all away in the war. Zelda enjoys having fun, going out with boys, and dancing. She is a good ballet dancer, and in a function in which she has a ballet solo, she meets Scott Fitzgerald, who is stationed in Camp Sheridan on his way to the front. Zelda feels attracted to him at once, and they start their romance. Her father doesn’t approve of him as his aspirations to be a writer as the judge thinks that he is not the kind of man who will be able to provide for his daughter.
Scott finally is on his way to the front, but then while he is stationed in New York, the war ends. He returns to Montgomery with his unit to disassemble the camp. When he sees Zelda, he proposes to her and tells her that he will send for her. Zelda hesitates, and Scott reassures her, saying that she can take her time. Then Zelda muses that she has two options: stay here, marry an average man and have a passel of children, and risk her stability and enjoy a life full of possibilities with Scott. This is a no-brainer, and then Zelda calls him, accepting to be his wife.
I usually know on the first pages that I am going to like or dislike a book. I am sometimes wrong, but more often than not that proves to be right. So now after reading the first pages of this novel, I am positive that I am going to love it. Actually, I already love it!!!