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" '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 and he is a young army lieutenant. Before long, Zelda has fallen for him, even though Scott isn't wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. When he sells his first novel, she optimistically boards a train to New York, to marry him and take the rest as it comes. What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. 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, but not even Jay Gatsby's parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous - sometimes infamous - husband? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda's irresistible story as she herself might have told it."


Novels about the American writing community  in Paris during the 1920's seem to be the new literary Big Thing - there was The Paris Wife) about Hadley Hemingway, there's Mrs Hemingway (which I haven't read yet) about all of Hemingway's wives and there's Z - about the Fitzgeralds.  This is way better than The Paris Wife (which I thoroughly enjoyed, no disresct to it) but Z is, quite simply, one of the best historical novels I've read for a long time, right up there for a view of the expatriate life in Paris in the 20's as A Moveable Feast (Hemingway and Zelda loathed each other).  


It's very well written, it paints a brilliant picture of the age and it's utterly convincing.  It's also very well balanced, although it's Zelda's story it's not unsympathetic to Scott.


Highly recommened.

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