Another Side of Paradise by Sally Koslow @sallykoslow @suzyapbookreviews #bookreview #anothersideofparadise

Happy Monday all!

Today is the first Monday of the school holiday for my youngest, my oldest two have finals this week and will be done with spring quarter! I think my oldest is coming home for a week, but he’d prefer living in San Diego then at home with good old mom, can you imagine? OK onto the book this was an entertaining historical fiction book about SheilaH Graham the mistress of F Scott Fitzgerald. Thank you so much Suzy for my invitation to the tour!📖

My Thoughts

This was a beautifully told well researched book about Sheilah Graham. Graham was the mistress of F Scott Fitzgerald in the final years of his life, when Zelda was institutionalized. The story begins with the death of Fitzgerald and then bounces between present and past. We get the backstory of Sheilah how she came from nothing and became one of the top gossip columnists in old Hollywood. We also get an inside look at the romantic rollercoaster relationship between Fitzgerald and Graham. A complex scandalous epic love story.

Sally Koslow’s meticulous research and passion for these characters really came through on the pages of this book. Sheilah was a remarkable woman, so strong, so spirited, so sincere. Her love for Fitzgerald was immense and all encompassing… and he was not an easy man to deal with. This was the time in his life where he was down on his luck trying to write his next novel, supplementing his income with writing screenplays, and addicted to alcohol. Their relationship was as problematic as it was passionate. I love the setting of old Hollywood. The glitz, the glamour, and the politics that went on between the gossip columnists. It was kind of like the mean girls club. I love these stories about famous people based on history but written as a fictional novel. I know that the authors need to take some liberties to move the plot forward and such. But I find these fictional biographies most interesting. This was a well told story about an incredible woman set against the glamorous backdrop of old Hollywood.

*** many thanks to Harbor Collins for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

In 1937 Hollywood, gossip columnist Sheilah Graham’s star is on the rise while literary wonder boy F. Scott Fitzgerald’s career is slowly drowning in booze. But the once-famous author, desperate to make money penning scripts for the silver screen, is charismatic enough to attract the gorgeous Miss Graham, a woman who exposes the secrets of others while carefully guarding her own. Like Scott’s hero Jay Gatsby, Graham has meticulously constructed a life far removed from the poverty of her childhood in London’s slums. And like Gatsby, the onetime guttersnipe learned early how to use her charms to become a hardworking success feted and feared by both the movie studios and their luminaries.
A notorious drunk famously married to the doomed “crazy Zelda”, Fitzgerald fell hard for his “Shielah” (he never learned to spell her name), a shrewd yet softhearted woman – both a fool for love and nobody’s fool – who would stay with him and help revive his career until his tragic death three years later. Working from diaries and other primary sources from the time, Sally Koslow revisits their scandalous love affair, bringing Graham and Scott gloriously alive in this compelling pause resister saturated with the color, glitter, magic, and passion of 1930s Hollywood and Sheilah’s dramatic transformation in London.

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