Thursday, February 10, 2022

Book Review: "Beautiful Little Fools" by Jillian Cantor

The latest novel from Jillian Cantor, Beautiful Little Fools is a fantastic retelling of The Great Gatsby through the eyes of three female characters in the book.

“I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”

The Great Gatsby is one of my absolute favorite books ever—so much so that my first dog’s middle name was even Gatsby. This book was one I’ve been eagerly anticipating since learning about it last year, and after devouring it yesterday I’m happy to say it more than lived up to my expectations.

In the summer of 1922, Jay Gatsby is shot to death in his West Egg swimming pool. Police believe he was killed by George Wilson, who took his own life shortly thereafter, so the case is quickly closed. But when a diamond hairpin is found at the scene of Gatsby's murder, one detective believes the murder could actually have been perpetrated by one of three women—Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker, or Catherine McCoy, Myrtle Wilson’s sister and George's sister-in-law.

The book looks at the lives of the three women, how Jay Gatsby came into their lives and, ultimately, what chaos he caused that might have pushed them to murder him. It’s a fascinating retelling because it brings so much added depth and takes the focus off Nick Carraway, who narrated the original book.

I absolutely loved Beautiful Little Fools. What a creative idea that still felt very true to Fitzgerald’s original novel, yet with some angles he wouldn’t have explored back then. While it's helpful to have read the original book, I don't know if you have to, because this is a different story in many ways.

This was so excellent!

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