Mariana Cotromanes

Writer, Blogger, Crunchy Mom


Book Review: Call Me Zelda

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 2:15 PM

There is something about "the Jazz Age" and the "Lost Generation" that captivates me.  I just can't get enough of the era-- the people who lived during it, the literature they produced, and the fascinating lives they led.  And I'm grateful that well-written books like "Z," "The Paris Wife," "Hemingway's Girl," and "Call Me Zelda" are there to feed my addiction. 

Erika Robuck's third novel, CALL ME ZELDA, tells the story of the fictional relationship between Zelda Fitzgerald and her nurse Anna in the 1930s.  It features the story of Zelda "after the party;" a time when she was mentally unstable, having developed what is believed to be schizophrenia, and at the height of practicing her artistic craft (she wrote a novel, "Save Me the Waltz," and short stories, and painted often).

Just like Zelda has suffered, so has Anna (having lost her husband and daughter to elements of the time period).  And together they form a friendship that helps them both heal, but in different ways-- for Anna it is moving forward from her grief, while for Zelda it is a respite from the turmoil in her life.

While I enjoyed learning more about Zelda's life, it was Anna's story that brought the novel together.  Great historical fiction takes you back in time, creating deep context-- and that's exactly what Erika did by creating Anna.  I especially enjoyed the inclusion of Anna's brother, Peter, and learning about his experience entering into the priesthood and even meeting Padre Pio

Above all, it is a touching novel that immerses the reader in the fascinating lives of the Fitzgerald's, and finds beauty and hope in a world that sometimes seems to lack both.  I highly recommend CALL ME ZELDA-- I found it so moving that it left me speechless. 

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Categories: Books/Book Reviews

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