My rating: 4 of 5 stars
West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan is a fictional biography of the last three years of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life. Early on we see Fitzgerald struggle to maintain hope and loyalty to Zelda as she struggles to maintain her sanity. All action in this novel revolves around Fitzgerald’s attempts to stay relevant, stay in love, and stay sober.
While I have read most of Fitzgerald’s work (Tender is the Night is my favorite of his novels), I have to admit that I knew little of his life. Reading biographies (even fictional ones) has been somewhat of a let down in the past so I tend to shy away. Knowing too much about my favorite authors can sometimes taint my view of their works that is why I was surprised at how enthralling I found West of Sunset. I felt as if I was there often dreaming of the characters after a long night of reading. Drunken fights, Hollywood stars, sorted affairs and stunning prose, this novel has it all. If you read one fictional biography this year, make West of Sunset the book.
I received this novel from the publisher to review. In no way did that influence the opinions expressed in this review.