Book Review | The Other Side of Paradise by Sally Koslow #sallykoslow #suzyapprovedblogtour

Thanks to Suzy Approved Book Tours and author Sally Koslow for including OrangeCountyReaders on this blog tour which coincides with the paperback release of this 2018 title.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published: May 29, 2018

Pages: 352

My Thoughts

What a sad story. Sheilah Graham and F. Scott Fitzgerald have a love affair ten years after his popularity has waned and Zelda is marinating in the asylum. Their love for each other was clear but their time together was sadly short.

Sheilah’s character was fascinating and I’m looking forward to reading more about her life. She was a woman who had a tragic childhood and felt unloved and discarded. This book is very much about her self-reinvention as well as the complex relationship she had with Scott in the late 30s in Hollywood’s Golden Age.

I was completely invested in her story and wish I better understood her attraction to this man. He was good to her and supported her career, but when he would fall off the wagon, it was hard to understand why she kept coming back. There’s a saying about how two broken people don’t make a whole person, and that’s the sense I got from their love story. They needed and healed parts of each other. She needed him to feel safe and understood and he needed her unconditional love and adoration.

The Hollywood setting, the famous characters like Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway and the literary scene of the time were all captured perfectly. One of my favorite characters was Sheilah’s ex-husband John Gillam who was the first one to really see her for who she was and was so dear and kind to her. I was glad that they remained close friends. This was a well researched and timeless read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and old time Hollywood.

Book Description

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 Fitzgerald’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 one time guttersnipe learned early how to use her charms to become a hardworking success; she is feted and feared by both the movie studios and their luminaries.

A notorious drunk famously married to the doomed Zelda, Fitzgerald fell hard for his “Shielah” (he never learned to spell her name), a shrewd yet soft hearted 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 Sheilah’s memoirs, interviews, and letters, Sally Koslow revisits their scandalous love affair and Graham’s dramatic transformation in London, bringing Graham and Fitzgerald gloriously to life with the color, glitter, magic, and passion of 1930s Hollywood.

Goodreads | Amazon

About The Author

Sally Koslow is the author of The Widow Waltz; The Late, Lamented Molly Marx; With Friends Like These; and the nonfiction work Slouching Toward Adulthood. Her debut novel, Little Pink Slips, was inspired by her long career as the editor in chief of the iconic McCall’s magazine. Her books have been published in a dozen countries.



Twitter: @sallykoslow

Book Blurbs

In Another Side of Paradise, Sally Koslow gives us an intimate portrait of a tumultuous love affair that defies tragedy. You will not want to put it down.” (David Gillham, New York Times bestselling author of City of Women)

“A stunning, utterly captivating read. Another Side of Paradise delivers an unforgettable portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sheilah Graham, a remarkable couple steeped in all the glamour, romance, and intrigue of old Hollywood. Their wild ride of a love affair is one for the ages!” (Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything)

“Isn’t a beautifully written page-turner the ideal read? Well, here it is.  I am full of admiration and gratitude for this wonderful novel. Brava, Sally Koslow. I didn’t want your fascinating and tender book to end.” (Elinor Lipman, author of On Turpentine Lane and The Inn at Lake Devine)

“Koslow’s imagined account of the real-life affair between the writer and the seductive expat is captivating.” (People)

“This fictional telling of (F. Scott Fitzgerald’s) real-life romance is rich in historical detail, celebrity dish, and old-fashioned human drama.” (Good Housekeeping)

“Sally Koslow’s novel about the romance between legendary gossip columnist Sheilah Graham and F. Scott Fitzgerald is addictive reading. . . you’ll be surprised by the nuance and new details that Another Side of Paradise brings to light.” (Meryl Gordon,  New York Times bestselling author of Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend)

“Looking for something deliciously dishy with a side of wry? This golden age Hollywood novel is your ticket.”

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