By Sarah Beningfield
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of my all-time favourite books. I genuinely believe that it is an absolute must-read. It is a captivating story that encompasses the truth about the American Dream, such as how money and power are not always the key to happiness. It also pulls in the reader with beautiful descriptions of privileged life in 1920s America.
The plot of this novel contains some very complicated themes of greed, power, ambition and reaching for dreams. There is darkness in the underbelly of the novel, lurking in the shadows of wealth and romance. However, there is also a twisted and beautiful love story that brings light to the murky shadows.
The story follows Nick Carraway as he moves into a small house next door to the mansion of the mysterious Jay Gatsby on the West Egg of Long Island. Gatsby is a somewhat reclusive man, but he can throw a wild house party, and is also possibly a criminal. He is incredibly rich and the source of his wealth is never divulged (except for hints that he is involved in an organised crime syndicate).
Gatsby soon strikes up a friendship with Nick and reveals that he was in love with Nick’s cousin Daisy before he had to leave to fight in the First World War. Gatsby spends much of his time staring across the lake at a distant green light that marks the dock in front of Daisy’s house. He has never forgotten his love and he asks for Nick’s help in winning Daisy back. Unfortunately, Daisy is already married to Tom Buchanan who is an unfaithful and selfish man to say the least.
Tom boasts about his infidelity to Nick and takes him into the New York to his secret apartment where they have a raucous party with Tom’s mistress. This infidelity turns out to be the unravelling of the whole story towards the end. The Great Gatsby could be seen as an extravagant, romantic tale, with wealth and money being flaunted from all sides. Fitzgerald’s writing is intricate and beautiful and kept me trapped within the book from the beginning right to the unexpected and awful end.
Other books by this author:
A memorable quote from this novel: “I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
Readers who would enjoy this: Those who can appreciate beautiful writing and a captivating story absolutely have to read this book – if they haven’t already!
Other books beginning with ‘G’:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
The Golden Compass – Philip Pullman