My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won’t find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could’ve been better or what worked or didn’t work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it’s here I probably think it won’t injure your brain if you read it.
Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald ruled the Jazz Age, continent-hopping, swilling, and getting tossed from the best hotels for their rowdy behavior. But reality has taken its toll on the couple by 1932, when Zelda is committed to psychiatric care where the everyday life of nurse and war widow Anna Howard becomes hopelessly intertwined with the famous and doomed beauty.
Anna’s family worries for her as she begins to value Zelda’s stability above her own, spending even her free time with Zelda at the hospital. Meanwhile recuperating Zelda from madness seems to Anna the only goal worth having now that her own life has lost meaning. Dedicated to her patient and their growing friendship, Anna leaves employment at the hospital to become Zelda’s private nurse.
The Fitzgerald’s tumultuous marriage is evident from the beginning, from artistic competition to furious accusations to embarrassing outbursts of affection, their life holds all the excitement that Anna’s does not. She gladly revolves around the couple, content to be Zelda’s caretaker and confidant – until the Fitzgerald’s money runs out.
Now adrift and cut off from not only her finances but also the life that she had adopted as her own, Anna must learn how to create herself anew, without the influence of either Fitzgerald. Zelda is not the only one with a haunted past, and a knock on the door can change Anna’s normal life as easily as the eerie halls of Ellerslie affected Zelda’s.