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Review: Call Me Zelda

August 18, 2013

Call Me Zelda

With her marriage to well known author Scott, Zelda Fitzgerald seemed to be living a dream life.  She and Scott lived extravagantly in the US and Europe and socialized with the rich and famous.  They seemed to be madly in love and the public was fascinated with them.  Then, in 1932, Zelda was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Baltimore and Scott was wondering how he was going to afford her care.

Anna Howard was the nurse assigned to care for Zelda.  After the deaths of her husband and child, Anna was wounded herself, so she had a lot of empathy for Zelda, and the two formed a wonderful relationship that eventually blossomed into a friendship.  They remained in touch throughout the rest of Zelda’s tumultuous life.

Call Me Zelda, by Erika Robuck, is Zelda’s story told through the eyes of Anna.  Because of that, the story is as much about Anna as it is about Zelda.  Zelda was an enigmatic person, even for those who knew her and her story is full of highs and lows.  Her contacts with Anna provide a peek into her psyche but she was difficult to know since hers was a troubled mind.

Anna was a terrific character to tell Zelda’s story.  I’m not sure that I fully understood why she felt such a strong connection with Zelda but it was obvious she cared for her deeply.  Her own life was troubled at times so she could relate to some of Zelda’s feelings.

I enjoyed Call Me Zelda and thought Robuck’s writing and storytelling were solid – I’d like to read more of her work now.  I appreciated that she didn’t demonize Scott Fitzgerald as many want to do these days.  He had issues of his own, and was far from perfect, but seemed to try his best.  If you enjoy historical fiction or are interested in Zelda Fitzgerald, you’ll want to pick this book up!

Review copy provided by Amazon Vine.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
29 Comments leave one →
  1. August 18, 2013 4:41 am

    Have you read Z? How did this compare. It looks like it would be a nice compliment to Z, as Z deals with her early life and marriage to Fitzgerald.

  2. Patty permalink
    August 18, 2013 8:40 am

    A fascinating topic…I am sure!

  3. August 18, 2013 9:10 am

    Personally I don’t get all the obsession lately with her.

  4. August 18, 2013 9:37 am

    I don’t know a thing about her so think I would really enjoy this.

  5. August 18, 2013 9:54 am

    I have always been fascinated with Zelda….and Scott and Zelda. This one sounds good. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. August 18, 2013 11:29 am

    You definitely liked this one more than I did. I think since I read Z first (which was fantastic) it hampered my enjoyment of Call Me Zelda.

  7. August 18, 2013 11:42 am

    Great review- i love stories about the Fitzgeralds and the Hemingways.

  8. August 18, 2013 11:46 am

    My daughter has a copy of Z that I’m planning to read after she’s done, but Call Me Zelda sounds even more appealing.

  9. talesofwhimsy permalink
    August 18, 2013 11:57 am

    Interesting. I’m fascinated by Zelda.

  10. August 18, 2013 12:02 pm

    Sounds like a book I would enjoy listening to. Scott Fitzgerald’s life fascinates me quite a bit.

  11. August 18, 2013 12:37 pm

    I guess I am mildly interested in these books, but haven’t been compelled to read them yet at this point. She IS a fascinating person, and is probably why, with all the Gatsby stuff, that she is drawing attention.

  12. August 18, 2013 2:04 pm

    This sounds so good, Kathy! Another wonderful review–thanks!

  13. August 18, 2013 3:13 pm

    I’ve always been intrigued by the Scotts, but know little about Zelda. sounds good.

  14. August 18, 2013 3:26 pm

    This book has been on my radar for some time; glad you enjoyed it.

  15. Beth Hoffman permalink
    August 18, 2013 3:41 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Kathy. It’s a favorite of mine. And like you, I so appreciated how Erika Robuck depicted F. Scott as a flawed human being rather than evil. In many ways he was just as damaged as Zelda was. I think their pairing was simply a tragic and volatile thing that neither could cope with, especially with Zelda’s mental illness.

  16. August 18, 2013 3:51 pm

    Sounds like another interesting tale about the fascinating life of Zelda. It seems to show a different facet of her.

  17. August 18, 2013 6:10 pm

    I know nothing about Zelda Fitzgerald and her life, so this sounds like a fascinating read. Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

  18. August 18, 2013 6:13 pm

    I’ve been wanting to read more about the Fitzgeralds since I saw the movie Midnight in Paris – will have to look for this one.

  19. August 18, 2013 6:23 pm

    I read and reviewed both this one and “Z” this season. This version of the Fitzgerald duo was more personal, it seemed to me. I liked it much better than “Z.”

  20. August 18, 2013 8:03 pm

    I don’t know much about Zelda, but I’m intrigued by your review. Plus, I love that time period!

  21. August 18, 2013 10:39 pm

    I enjoyed this book much more than I expected. I liked Z also but this one just gave such a personal view of Zelda and a hopeful recovery for her life.

  22. Beth F permalink
    August 19, 2013 7:49 am

    Because I read Z I’ve been waiting to read this one — I didn’t want to be oversaturated with the couple. You’re review makes me wonder if I’ll like this one better.

  23. August 19, 2013 11:22 am

    I’ll read this one because I so enjoyed her novel about Hemingway. Erika Robuck is a hugely talented author.

  24. August 19, 2013 11:37 am

    I love historical fiction and always enjoy seeing well known personalities from a new perspective, so this might be my sort of book 🙂 Thanks for the helpful review!

  25. bookingmama permalink
    August 20, 2013 8:19 am

    I really enjoyed this one. Still have one more Zelda book to read!

  26. August 20, 2013 12:26 pm

    This one is on my list of books I want to read. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  27. Jennifer permalink
    August 20, 2013 11:55 pm

    The Fitzgerald’s are so interesting to me. Since I teach Gatsby (and list it as one of my all time favorite books), I am fascinated by everything Fitzgerald. Their lives, although tragic, sound so incredibly interesting to me.

  28. August 21, 2013 10:33 am

    Probably most of what I know about Zelda comes from movies. Midnight in Paris maybe?

  29. August 21, 2013 1:42 pm

    I loved Z, so this has immediately sparked my interest. Even though it’s not totally about Zelda, I still think I’d like it. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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