Monday, March 18, 2019

Book Review: Scottie the Daughter of: The Life of Frances Scott Fitzgerald Lanahan Smith by Eleanor Lanahan


Book Review

Scottie the Daughter of…

Eleanor Lanahan

Book Description:

Providing an insider's look into a brilliant but troubled family, a biography of Scottie, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's daughter, is written by her own daughter and reveals her personality traits, relationships, and life as a journalist and political insider.

From the Publisher:

Until now, Scottie Fitzgerald has existed only peripherally in the biographies of her famous parents. Although this memoir contains riveting accounts of F. Scott and Zelda -- providing a unique perspective on these literary giants as only their daughter knew them -- it centers on Scottie, who managed to overcome being known as "the daughter of..." to became an important and influential member of the Washington jet set during the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon years. In these pages, she comes to life as talented, driven, giving, as well as exasperatingly controlling, dominating, and strangely unable to show affection -- a trait that played havoc on the lives of her children. We see her through her marriages and affairs; her career as a journalist, writer, and political insider; her struggle with alcohol; and her complex relationship with her family, especially Tim, the son who, like Zelda, suffered from schizophrenia and ultimately committed suicide. Using diaries, journals, personal letters, and haunting photographs, Lanahan provides a fascinating portrait of a great American family, and an intensely personal, haunting look at the consequences of fame.


This book is out of print and not in ebook form. However, it is well-worth buying a used copy to read because it is that interesting.

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My 5-Star Review:

I really enjoyed this biography of Scottie Fitzgerald by her daughter Eleanor Lanahan. It begins with a comprehensive recap of the lives of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda and moves on to Scottie's childhood and then her adult years. For the first time ever, I felt that I was hearing the true story of these literary icons and their daughter. Through the years, biographers have dwelled on the glitz and tragedies of the lives of Scott and Zelda, but in this telling of it, you hear the clear truth of their lives without the glamour and drama. And despite it all, Scottie grew up to be an amazing person who was active in politics, a writer, and even a songwriter. All of this is described through letters to and from family members, a partially written memoir of Scottie's, and family memories. 

A wonderful and powerful story of a very special lady. Thank you Eleanor Lanahan for sharing the story of your mother's life with us all.


About the Author:

Eleanor Lanahan is an artist and filmmaker and is one of the executors of her grandfather’s estate. She is the granddaughter of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda, and the daughter of Frances “Scottie” Fitzgerald Lanahan Smith, the Fitzgerald’s only daughter.

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