A Fairly Uneventful Dance

Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald (2014. Audible. ISBN 978-1946963468)

Given F. Scott, the husband of Zelda, is a Minnesota author, I’ve always had a certain fascination for his work, his life, and his marriage. So, when I was in need of an audio book to listen to while walking the track and working out at the local Y, I used some of my Audible credits to load this novel into my phone.

The tale Zelda writes here is supposedly her own take on her marriage to Scott and mercurial the time they spent in France during the 1920s and 1930s. Save Me is seen by some Fitzgerald scholars as a preemptory strike against her husband. How so? The faintly autobiographical Tender is the Night was in the process when Zelda, after heavy editing by her husband to remove passages that painted him in an unflattering light (he’s the model for the husband in Zelda’s tale), found herself a publisher and launched this book into the world. There are many experts of the Fitzgerald legacy who decry Save Me the Waltz as limited in scope and value due to its fairly mundane plot and pacing. Others claim that F. Scott borrowed many of the themes from this novel (boredom, infidelity, the rigors of child birth and child rearing, and so on) and adapted those to his purposes for Tender. I’m no Fitzgerald scholar but what I will say, having listened to both books, Tender is by far the more complex and more completely executed tale. 

Save Me is, in  the end, mildly interesting, decently written, but never captivating in the manner of the author’s husband’s best work.

3 and 1/2 stars out of 5.




About Mark

I'm a reformed lawyer and author.
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