Beautiful Little Fools

From History Book By Book
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Modern Age

Beautiful Little Fools
Author: Cantor, Jillian
Buy at Amazon |

Time Period: Modern Age
Time Frame: 1918-1923
Geographic Area: North America
Country: United States
Topics: Jazz Age, LGBTQ+
Genre: Fiction
Reading Age:Adult
Format: Book
Published: 2022

American History > Modern Age

USA Today bestselling author Jillian Cantor reimagines and expands on the literary classic The Great Gatsby in this atmospheric historical novel with echoes of Big Little Lies, told in three women’s alternating voices.

On a sultry August day in 1922, Jay Gatsby is shot dead in his West Egg swimming pool. To the police, it appears to be an open-and-shut case of murder/suicide when the body of George Wilson, a local mechanic, is found in the woods nearby.

Then a diamond hairpin is discovered in the bushes by the pool, and three women fall under suspicion. Each holds a key that can unlock the truth to the mysterious life and death of this enigmatic millionaire.

Daisy Buchanan once thought she might marry Gatsby—before her family was torn apart by an unspeakable tragedy that sent her into the arms of the philandering Tom Buchanan.

Jordan Baker, Daisy’s best friend, guards a secret that derailed her promising golf career and threatens to ruin her friendship with Daisy as well.

Catherine McCoy, a suffragette, fights for women’s freedom and independence, and especially for her sister, Myrtle Wilson, who’s trapped in a terrible marriage.

Their stories unfold in the years leading up to that fateful summer of 1922, when all three of their lives are on the brink of unraveling. Each woman is pulled deeper into Jay Gatsby’s romantic obsession, with devastating consequences for all of them.

Jillian Cantor revisits the glittering Jazz Age world of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, retelling this timeless American classic from the women’s perspective. Beautiful Little Fools is a quintessential tale of money and power, marriage and friendship, love and desire, and ultimately the murder of a man tormented by the past and driven by a destructive longing that can never be fulfilled.

Emily's Review

I absolutely loved this book. The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite classics, and I think this made me love it even more.

In this novel, we get to explore the lives of the women in the story - Daisy, Jordan Baker, and Catherine. Getting their perspectives gives the story so much more depth. People that seemed unlikeable in the original become sympathetic characters. The author puts a feminist spin on the story, and we get a much more realistic view of Jay Gatsby, who gets presented in a very negative light, but it feels completely real and natural to the story. To be fair, I always felt that the majority of the cast of characters in the original story were presented in a pretty negative light, but somehow Gatsby comes off as being a hopeless romantic. I appreciate what the author did in this story, showing how powerless women often were and how men, particularly wealthy men, just assume they can get whatever they want, be it materialistic things or people.

I also enjoyed that the author gave us a bit of a murder mystery, asking the question, "Who really killed Jay Gatsby?" What felt very cut and dry in the original novel, again, get's flipped on its head in this version of the story. I felt it was a natural conclusion that made complete sense in the scope of the story.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this take on Gatsby and I am desperate to read everything Jillian Cantor has written.

Other Similar Books

Other suggestions on the subject of Jazz Age.