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 onetime 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 softhearted 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.
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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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My Review of “Another Side of Paradise” by Sally Koslow, Harper Paperbacks, May 28, 2019 . I loved everything about “Another Side of Paradise” by Sally Koslow. I appreciate that Sally Koslow has done extensive research, and writes so vividly with great description the colorful cast of characters and various timelines. This novel is fiction based on famous characters. I was captivated and intrigued by this fascinating novel. The author describes her characters as complex and complicated. A great deal of the timeline in this novel is the “Golden Age of Hollywood”, and describes Sheilah Graham, born Lily Shield, as a gossip columnist, and writer. The author portrays the Hollywood scene, the writers, and the producers, in such an engaging and enthralling way. A young Jewish Lily Shield is brought up mostly in an orphanage in England. She marries young and changes her name to Sheilah Graham. Sheila Graham holds deep secrets that torment her. Sheilah comes to America, where her career takes hold. During this Golden Age of Hollywood, Sheilah meets F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of “The Great Gatsby” and “Another Side of Paradise”. Fitzgerald is writing screenplays, as his career as an author is declining. Sheilah’s is starting to rise in her career. Sheilah and Fitzgerald begin an unusual relationship with highs and lows, and twists and turns. The author gives us an intimate view of their romantic and intense relationship. I felt addicted to this story, and couldn’t put the book down. I would highly recommend this novel for those readers that appreciate fiction with a historical background.
I started this book and decided I really wasn’t interested in reading a story about F. Scott Fitzgerald in Hollywood at that particular moment, preferring something lighter and fluffier. But I decided to read a few pages, and the next thing I knew I’d finished the book. Graham led an extraordinary life, rising being abandoned at a Jewish orphanage and forging a new existence as a successful gossip columnist in Hollywood. She felt she and Fitzgerald were soulmates, but their relationship was tested constantly by his alcoholism and his own anti-Semitism. Author Sally Koslow’s fictional version of the romance between gossip columnist Sheilah Graham and Fitzgerald reads like a memoir but moves with the speed of a page-turner. The voice she gives Sheilah is nuanced and touching; the prose itself is richly detailed and evokes the glamour. What is unexpected is Koslow’s portrayal of the dark underbelly of Hollywood with its anti-Semitism.
Sally Koslow has written another beautiful novel. Another Side of Paradise is an historical novel that brings us back to the last decades of F. Scott Fitzgerald's life and his significant relationship. It is beautifully written with an authenticity that parallels his own novels. Sadly Koslow has the ability to write masterfully. Her books span genres, and Another Side of Paradise is an historical novel for those who love literature, journalism, and a good read.
Well-written, Engaging, and Enjoyable! I have to say, I am a bad English Major (I concentrated on Journalism), so I have little experience or knowledge of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his books. I definitely didn’t know about where he died or about his long-term affair with Sheilah Graham, so I came into this novel with no background. That being said, this book focused on a woman who reinvented herself and the look at her life was riveting. The story was well-written and, it appears, extensively researched. The story was engaging and I really enjoyed tracing Sheilah’s transformation as well as the behind the scenes look at her life in Hollywood. This was my first read by Sally Koslow, and I am glad I took the plunge. She is an author I will keep on my radar and I will look forward to reading more of her work. #AnotherSideofParadise #TallPoppies