This year, my younger daughter and I have been participating in a mother-daughter book club. I’ve always wanted to be in a book club, but as a writer my to-read list is impossibly long as it is. How could I find time to be in a book club?
But this club isn’t just for me. It’s for my daughter. She’s getting an English credit. What kind of mom would I be if I didn’t say yes to the opportunity?
Turns out the club is as much fun for the moms as it is for the girls, and this month we’ve been reading one of my favorites. Who doesn’t just love THE GREAT GATSBY? For me, it’s a total walk down Memory Lane, as I recall the mini-obsession I had with this story back when I was even younger than my daughter is now.
There’s just something about F. Scott Fitzgerald’s way of telling a story that makes me want to put on a dress made of fluttery white chiffon and languish on an enormous couch complaining about the heat. Reading this book again is like being Daisy Buchanan, but with the heartache and despair kept at arm’s length.
Even if you haven’t read the book, you’ve probably seen the movie. But did you know that there were actually several film versions of the book before Leonardo DiCaprio stepped into Jay Gatsby’s two-tone wingtips? There was one in 1949 starring Alan Ladd, which I’ve never personally seen, and a TV version in 2000 starring Miro Sorvino as Daisy, and Paul Rudd, one of my favorites, as Nick Carraway.
And then there’s the one with (swoon) Robert Redford.
I remember now that my obsession with the book might have had something to do with my obsession with Robert Redford (sorry, Leonardo). How can you not love the scene where he meets up with Daisy, the object of his infatuation, looking suave as a movie star and nervous as a cat. He captured Gatsby’s complexities to a T.
In fact, the copy of the book I originally read was the one with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow gracing the cover. Small wonder that in my mind, they will always be Gatsby and Daisy.
If you’ve never read the book or you’d to revisit this American classic, here’s a selection to choose from. Be sure to put on your flapper headband and grab a cocktail. The party’s at Jay’s place!