Still thinking about Zelda Fitzgerald after the recent Gatsby craze I decided to read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, a brand new work of historical fiction by Therese Anne Fowler. It was quite well researched and very much reminded me of The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (Random House, 2011), a novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Hemingway. Both told in a first-person narrative, two shared themes were immediately apparent to me. Each of these novels gave their protagonists a voice, FINALLY, which has historically been hidden behind that of their famous husbands, most particularly so for Hadley. And second, Zelda and Hadley were, regrettably, very much living in patriarchal relationships, despite the fact that both were often the essential first readers of their husbands’ groundbreaking work and they both seemingly lived very modern lives, especially Zelda, who was considered one of the first recognized “flappers” of the era. This begs so many questions and must be one of the reasons that Z and The Paris Wife continue to stay with me.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald (St. Martin’s Press, 2013)