Zelda’s Heart Was of July

Zelda's Heart Was of JulyHey there, book club!

If you’re reading along with us this fall, you probably just arrived in New York City with Zelda. First stop? A Catholic Church to marry Scott of course! I’m thankful they actually tie the knot. After reading about their romantic beginnings, I was really rooting for them. Despite knowing they got married, I was on the edge of my seat. Would you believe I actually she a few tears when she wrote that letter to Scott in Part I and lies about kissing someone else? Who does that? Girl’s got game, right?

So the book I have comes with discussion questions in the back. One of them asks how much of Scott’s success is actually owed to Zelda’s manufactured break up with him in 1919? This first question sets the stage for the question that plagues this couple for the rest of history. You see for a long time people blamed Zelda for Scott not writing more. The truth is a little foggy, though. Therese Anne Fowler decided to rewrite some of that narrative and let us decide for ourselves.

Just keep that in mind as you read.

Since it is so fresh in your mind, what do you think about Zelda’s father’s disapproval of Scott? From those early chapters and a few brief encounters, do you think he had the grounds to be so critical? Was he just being an overprotective father or do you think he agreed with Tilde who told Zelda, “I worry, and so does Mama, that the two of you would wear each other out.” Was there more that her father saw that gave him pause?

I won’t ask you to land on Team Scott or Team Zelda, but definitely let us know what you think. We’ll explore the novel more as fall progresses. Right now, enjoy discovering Manhattan with Zelda as she wanders around the city with childlike wonder. There is something so simultaneously pure and corrupt about Manhattan during the jazz age.

Another interesting nugget I found–Zelda inherits her name from the heroine in Robert Edward Francillon’s 1874 romantic novel, Zelda’s Fortune. Francillon describes his heroine, “Zelda’s heart was of July, but her tears were of April, when her sun rose. There was more than a little of Marietta in her besides her trick of stamping on the floor. But it must not be thought that rippling waves are always the sign of a shallow sea. She had her mother’s quickness and impulse, but her depths were her own.”

Sounds a little like our girl, doesn’t it? Enjoy the read! We’ll check back in soon. Please let us know how you’re liking it so far.

  • For the list of discussion questions in the back of the book, click HERE.
  • To see photos of Zelda and Scott, check out our Pinterest board HERE.
  • To jump in and read with us, snag the book HERE.

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