Recently I went on holiday to Merimbula. It was my first holiday with my boyfriend of four months. As someone who likes a bit of alone time (quite a bit), this was a bit of a struggle for me: spending every waking, and every sleeping, minute together; getting dressed and undressed in front of him all the time; conversing with him and only him; jut the way we do things differently.
I can’t lie, nor can I deny the fact that I had a wonderful time. The ocean, the aptly named Sapphire Coast of New South Wales, having nothing to do and nowhere we needed to be.
I did get a bit of time to myself, in the mornings mostly, for I am an early riser and he is not. If I had wanted him to get up and join me I know he would have in a heartbeat, but I wanted that cold early morning air, the Sun rising over the east-facing balcony to myself. I did share it with a few good books, though.
The third of these I feel compelled to write about now. I finished the 360 page novel this morning, a few days after beginning. I am a slow reader and I don’t mind that: I read thoroughly, and pick up on details. I take the time to make sure I can hear the dialogue, and follow actions, and imagine scenery.
The dialogue, and scenes especially in Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler were especially beautiful. It was witty, and dramatic (when it needed to be), it explained and demonstrated ever-changing relationships, and told a beautiful, complicated story set over the European and American continents.
It was so bright at the beginning, but with delicate, dooming foreshadowing that made me nervous as to Zelda and Scott’s futures. The glitz and glamour couldn’t last forever, and it shows a terrible, twisted spiral of lives. Famous authors and other artists and name-dropped throughout, giving us glimpses into other lives and how other people coped (or did not cope) with the mad post-war world.
It’ll be fine. He loves me. There’s no real risk.
Although the glamorous scenes, so decadent, so wild, so elegant, so sparkly, are so different to how I imagine New York now to be, the themes of love, betrayal, forgiveness, mental illnesses, and more are universal and timeless, making this an exotic, yet relateable fictional biography. More importantly, it gives justification and a voice to Zelda Fitzgerald, forcing us to think of her as a person in her own right, not overshadowed by her husband, or other erroneous reports.