- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: NAL (May 7 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 045123992X
- ISBN-13: 978-0451239921
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #228,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Call Me Zelda Paperback – Deckle Edge, May 7 2013
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Praise for Call Me Zelda
“This gem of a novel spins a different, touching story...You will love it, as I absolutely did.”—Tatiana de Rosnay, New York Times bestselling author of Sarah’s Key and The House I Loved
“In this richly imagined story, Erika Robuck has captured the creative brilliance and madness of Zelda Fitzgerald...an unsettling yet tender portrayal of two women inextricably bound by hope and tragedy.”—Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Me
“A Jamesian sense of the uncanny haunts Erika Robuck's poignant, compassionate portrait of Zelda Fitzgerald's desperate dance with mental illness...mesmerizing, page-turning, and provides us with a fresh, very human look at two literary icons.”—Maryanne O'Hara, author of Cascade
“An emotionally charged and entertaining book.”—The Austin Chronicle
“One of the most unique, well-written, and interesting novels of the year...Compelling and tragic.”—Pittsburgh Historical Fiction Examiner
“Lovers of the Jazz Age, literary enthusiasts, and general historic fiction readers will find much to love about Call Me Zelda. Highly recommended.”—Historical Novels Review (Editor’s Choice)
“Robuck effectively captures the Fitzgeralds’ turbulent marriage, as well as their inability to function—personally or professionally—beyond their jazz age heyday and into the Depression era.”—Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Erika Robuck is the national bestselling author of The House of Hawthorne, Fallen Beauty, Call Me Zelda, Hemingway’s Girl, and Receive Me Falling. She is a contributor to the fiction blog Writer Unboxed, and she maintains her own blog, Muse. She is a member of the Hawthorne Society, the Hemingway Society, the Historical Novel Society, and the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society. She lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with her husband and three sons.See all Product description
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The main problems I found with this novel were the seemingly lack of clear distinction of the era the novel was set; finding anachronistic terminology and modern dialogue was very disappointing. Adding to this, the misplaced information on a few historical details and theories on mental illness and a very oddly placed carcinogenic idea voiced by one of the characters. There was also this odd crack in personality in this novel where it abruptly changes tone and races down a dull cliché journey of romance. The lack of enthusiasm or build up in storytelling and bloated chapters left me bored at times and let unwelcome reality seep in and thoughts of what tasks needed finished or started the next day. And finally in regards to the portrayal of the Fitzgeralds they seemed sadly like caricatures center staging their worst and rumored faults.
In the end, Call Me Zelda sounded like the perfect read for this reviewer. It seemed to have all the ingredients that would be an instant favorite read for the end of this year. However, what disappoints this reviewer may be exactly what another reader is seeking. The negatives I found could be seen as positives if the potential reader is just looking for a fictionalized story centered around the end of the Fitzgeralds lives (after the party) and told by a devoted nurse who starts with a cautious approach of trying to connect with her patient but by the end forges a complicated powerful friendship; this may be the story for you.
Robuck gives us a wonderful inside look at their fascinating marriage after the 20s successes--and excesses. See the new movie The Great Gatsby and then imagine the hangover. This book deals with the years after the parties and fame have dissipated.
Like her previous book, Hemingway's Girl, Robuck cares deeply about the characters, both real and imagined. While fiction, these books are built on a solid foundation of historical and literary facts. She has a rare gift of communicating "how it was" in a refreshing way.
Zelda was a tragic American figure. Read this book and prepare to be whisked back to the haunted days of her years after the party ended. You won't be disappointed. (I have a long list of family members waiting for my copy of this book!)
Since I have read more than the norm about Scott, I was delighted to read about Zelda. I appreciated her constantly trying to define her own self through various means, instead just relying on Scott for her total identity. She wrote journal entries, articles, and stories (many of which were used by Scott), but never was allowed to do much completely on her own without Scott's "direction." I enjoyed her character most when she was taking an interest in those around her (as I am sure she probably did in real life since she did have many long term friends). I also enjoyed how Ms. Robuck characterized her as being able to easily discern other people's personalities. Zelda also painted and danced and generally appreciated the arts.
As talented as these two people were, what a grand life they could have led for a long while if they both could have compromised more with each other. Instead, they seemed to be jealous and competitive, with Scott, of course, always having the upper hand with friends, doctors, publishers, etc. Since many women of the 1920s had more freedoms and independence than previous generations, I am sure it was hard for Zelda to conform to a more conventional life once she had her little girl, Scottie. Mental illness (Zelda) and alcoholism (Scott) did not aid the couple in their quest for long-term happiness either. Theirs is a tragic story that ended terribly for both of them.
Just when I would tire of Zelda and Scott, Anna and her own tribulations would transport me to focus on something else. Anna is truly an admirable character and I enjoyed her story. She finally finds love and happiness again, although the journey is quite painful. I was delighted to read about her parents, her brother, the doctors, a driver, and her neighbors and how she interpreted some of the other characters in the Zelda's life. I related to Anna more than I related to Mariella in Hemingway's Girl, probably because she was more my age and because my own mother was a psychiatric nurse, too.
I highly recommend Call Me Zelda if you want to read two good stories: one about the fictional Anna, and the other about the tragic life of Zelda.