At my desk Wednesday morning, I felt a bit colder than usual but didn’t think anything of it. By lunchtime, I was still chilled to the bone while wearing my heavy winter coat indoors and I had a fever of 103.5. Classic signs that the flu likely had a hold on me, which indeed it did.
Aside from going to the doctor on Thursday morning, today is the first time I’ve been out of bed in nearly four days. This flu is no joke, folks. But, thankfully, Tamiflu and copious amounts of tea, rest, and TLC from The Husband have done wonders. I have a slight lingering cough and the fatigue is still overwhelming at times, but I am much better than I was even 24 hours ago.
Anyway, a horrendous headache prevented me from doing much reading while bedridden (I managed to read about half of this week’s New Yorker) but I started making up for it yesterday with West of Sunset, the new novel by Stewart O’Nan.
You guys. This book. I cannot put it down. I was in love from the first three pages and I feel very confident in saying that this is likely going to be one of my favorite novels of this year.
West of Sunset is about the last three years of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life. At 40, his literary success is well in the past, his wife Zelda is institutionalized, his own health is precarious, and he has no money. To pay for Zelda’s care, Scott is “borrowing against stories he has yet to imagine.” (Love that line!)
When Hollywood (finally, thankfully) comes calling with work as a screenwriter, Scott heads west in somewhat desperate hopes of making it once again in a town where everyone else’s star seems to be still rising but where his is uncertain. (“There were years like phantoms, like fog. Often he wondered if certain memories of his had really taken place.”) This is 1937 and West of Sunset transports its reader back in time to hang with Dorothy Parker, Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, Ernest Hemingway, Marlene Dietrich … basically, this is a name dropper’s paradise of anyone who was anyone during that time. So far, it’s a fantastic literary experience that I am loving.
(East End Book Exchange here in Pittsburgh is hosting the launch party for West of Sunset on February 7 at 7 p.m. It’s open to the open to the public, so I’ve signed myself up to go.)
Hope this Sunday finds you healthy (or, at least healthier than I am!) and enjoying a good book!