Introduced by a narrative of the Fitzgeralds' marriage, 333 letters—three-quarters of them previously unpublished or out of print—chart the tumultuous courtship, married life, and disintegration of one of the literary world's most storied romances.
Zelda writes in direct yet passionate prose, Fitzgerald with a poetic flair reminiscent of his fiction. The result is an engrossing account of their love story—full of longing and ardor, heartbreak and betrayal ... Over the years, myths have emerged around their romance...but their letters portray something else: a singular, enigmatic connection ... Eleanor Lanahan...writes...a moving introduction to their exceptional letters.
Read this book for Zelda, even if you’re weary of the cultural obsession with her. Better yet, if you’re disinterested entirely, as I was, and perplexed by the cultural fascination (in recent years, there have been four novels based on her life, and three major biopics are in the works) ... I was anticipating someone doleful, distracted—not this funny, hard-boiled observer of her own life whose letters read like short stand-up sequences ... She remains this way: arch, amused, self-mocking, writing parodies of the kind of simpering love letters expected of young women ... She has no secondhand impressions or turns of phrase—everything she writes and thinks feels tart, original, lightly distressing ... Ardor is her mode, and Scott her 'sungod' ... We recall their raucous early days, their extravagant unhappiness, but after reading these letters what strikes you is their steadiness, a shocking word to apply to them.
...the selection from the Fitzgeralds' correspondence edited by Jackson Bryers and Cathy Barks, and pre-emptively called 'love letters,' repeats the legend of a great and timeless romance ... But...their relationship can no longer be regarded as a great love story. Instead, it demonstrates the terrible danger of such romantic fairytales, and the melancholy dangers of a culture, like that of the American South or the Lost Generation, that sacrifices the present to the imagined glories of the past.