Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book 38 (2011): Gatsby's Girl

I have a fondness for novels about real people. I LOVE them. Lucy, about Lucy Mercer and FDR is one of my favorite books, for example! So, I was very excited about Gatsby's Girl because 1) it's a fictional story about real people; 2) it's about F. Scott who is one of my all time favorite authors; 3) and it's tied to The Great Gatsby, one of my favorite books (though I have a love- hate relationship with this novel. In 2011, Year of our Lord, I have a "love" relationship, apparently!)

This novel chronicles the romance between young Scott, age 19 and struggling his way through Princeton, and young boarding school girl Ginevra Perry (who is based on the real life love interest Ginevra King). Ginevra is spoiled and self- centered. Scott is intense and brooding.

They meet at a party one Christmas and the relationship blooms through letters. Then there's a secret meeting in the City to see a play and then more letters, around which time that Ginevra is becoming board with the young F. Scott. Then he arrives at her home for a visit- she a wealth spoiled girl with snobby parents and he a poor lad who aspires to be a writer.

Ginevra casts him off and burns his letters. The latter part of the novel then focuses on Ginevra's marriage and her adult life, how boring it is and how tired she is. Then, through several unexpected twists, Ginevra meets Scott again, later in life, hoping to romance again, but to no avail.

This is, loosely, based on real events. Many of the details of the love affair, if you can call it that, between these two took place mostly through letters, and the ones that survived were Ginevra's, but Scott has always claimed she was his greatest love and most of his central female characters are based on her, especially that of the infamous Daisy Buchanan.

And since this the year I have a love affair of my own, with all things Gatsby, I'm also pleased to say it's the second fictional Gatsby tie in; I read The Double Bind earlier this year and LOVED it as well!

A good book, fun, lots of speculation! (320 pages)