Zelda is a southern girl who has always done her own thing. When she first meets F. Scott Fitzgerald, a soldier stationed near her home in Montgomery, Alabama, it seems he's a perfect match to her fiery nature. An aspiring writer, Scott sweeps Zelda off her feet easily with his artful soul and ambitious nature. After publishing his first novel, Scott whisks Zelda away to New York City where they marry, despite her parents unease with the union. Soon, Zelda finds herself enveloped in a world beyond her wildest dreams, but will being the wife to such a dedicated writer be more than she bargained for?
What I Liked
- A Young Zelda: I thought that young Zelda was a really strong character. As a young girl in the 1920s south, she is surprisingly independent. It really sets up the rest of the novel and foreshadows her eventual "first flapper" fame, and I found her voice captivating.
- The Dawn of Feminism: The 1900s-1920s is known as the first wave of feminism, the start of it all, and it was really neat seeing the mindset of early feminists presented in the novel.
What I Didn't Like
- A Southern Drawl: It's easy to see in the dialog the times that Fowler tries to impress upon the readers Zelda's southern drawl, however it's not very consistent and seems faked and unrealistic, as if Fowler only remembered to do so every so often. It's also very stereotyping, like how you'd think an Alabama girl would sound as opposed to how one actually sounds. It's actually pretty distracting and I kind of wish that it had been left out entirely.
- The Post War South: Fowler reminds us often that at the time of the novel the Civil War wasn't as far past as you may think, and the post war south isn't always pretty. There are definitely times of casual racism and while I know that some of the mindsets of the characters are realistic, it's still uncomfortable to read. Also it's pretty clear that the feminism we are reading about hasn't yet stretched to be as inclusive as it should be.
- Scott's Scheme: The idea of cultivating Zelda's public image to resemble that of Rosalind was not a good one. I'm starting to see Scott as really unlikeable, and it's pretty clear that this scheme of his will not end well.
Quote of the Week
"Look Closer. Look closer and you'll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed," (5).
- How does the quote above set us up for the rest of the novel?
- What did you think of Zelda's scheme to help Scott finish his novel? This book has a lot to do with revealing the "truth" (or at least a fictional Zelda's side of the story). How do you think Zelda's view of things will differ from Scott's and, eventually, the rest of societies?