The 50Plus Book of the Month for MARCH recommended by Andrea Peskind Katz from Great Thoughts, Great Readers is:
by Jillian Cantor
Review by Anissa Telle
Jillian Cantor’s book Beautiful Little Fools is patterned after the iconic line from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Introduced as a society darling, Daisy Buchanan, née Fay, becomes anything but a “beautiful little fool “over the course of the book. Daisy overcomes many hardships (dealing with grief isn’t a main plotline in the book on accident). A portion of the trials she has overcome would cripple a lesser woman, and yet she repeatedly endures trial after trial and rises triumphant.
Cantor also gorgeously develops and lovingly describes the supporting cast. We learn to love and adore Catherine as the challenges the status quo of a typical woman in the Jazz Age. Jordan, for her sharp wit and devotion to her friends, is the friend we all wish for. Myrtle for wanting a better life for herself which justifies some of her more questionable actions. These women are the true heroines and bring new clarity to this iconic story.
I wonder if Fitzgerald knew that his book would be taught in English classes and make such a mark on American culture. Jillian Cantor should be aware that her masterpiece will also likely be taught in conjunction with Fitzgerald’s for years to come.
This book lives up to all of my lofty expectations as a Gatsby nerd. Cantor takes characters introduced in a scant line or two and gives them complex motivations that fully flesh them out as real people. Beautiful Little Fools is a lush rewriting of The Great Gatsby with a few added twists, definitely something that Gatsby enjoyers and even people who never got into the book should pick up a copy of.
About the Author: Jillian Cantor
JILLIAN CANTOR has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from the University of Arizona. She is the author of award-winning and bestselling novels for teens and adults, including The Hours Count, Margot, The Lost Letter, In Another Time, and Half Life. Born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia, Cantor currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.
About Andrea Peskind Katz from GREAT THOUGHTS, GREAT READERS:
Andrea Peskind Katz runs Great Thoughts, Great Readers, a Book Salon presented via her private FB group where approximately 5000 prolific readers and authors interact. She also founded Greatthoughts.com, a lifestyle website blog focusing on Great Books and Great Travel. To quote Robert Frost, she created her “second act” career to “unite my avocation and my vocation”. After 20 years in high pressure sales, Andrea retired to spend time doing what she loves best: hanging with her family, reading good books.
Each month, Andrea chooses a book for 50PlusToday that is either written by or for 50Plus individuals.