A Dazzling Retelling: Read an Extract from Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor

A Dazzling Retelling: Read an Extract from Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor

She held the gun the way a certain kind of careless man held his glass of whiskey. It was illegal, illicit. But, nonetheless, it was hers. She would do with it as she pleased, consequences be damned.

The gun made her hot, restless, wanting. Her heart pounded in her chest, a Nora Bayes song. The one playing that sweltering, innocent night when she saw him, years ago. Get your gun. Get your gun. She had her gun now.

He didn’t see her at first, as he walked out of his house, toward the pool. Tall and slender, his naked flesh so pale it was as if he’d made it through the entire summer without letting even the small- est bit of sunlight touch him. Nothing touched him. Wasn’t that what made Jay Gatsby so great?

He stepped toward the pool, that arrogant walk, that look on his face. That knowing. He had it all; he had everything. He’d taken everything. But then, just before his toe touched the water, he stopped suddenly, looked up, as if sensing her presence. He noticed her standing there, half behind the shrubbery, and he smiled.

“You’ve come,” he said, his voice thick with surprise. His eyes were on her face, not on her hand, not on the gun.

She raised her hand up higher, pointed the gun straight at his chest. And then somehow, from across the pool, he could suddenly feel it, her heat and her anger and her madness. It had been sim- mering for so long, and now it was boiling over. His face contorted. “What are you doing?” he spoke softly, slowly. He was working it out in his own mind. Why? What? How?

The distance between her gun and his heart was an easy shot. The trigger burned in the heat of the midday sun, as she closed one eye, aimed, squeezed. In an instant, the world exploded, the gun smoked. Her fingers shook and burned.

And then, all at once, his greatness flickered. He fell unevenly into the pool, water cascading into the sky like a choreographed dance of swans. Beautiful, unexpected. The cascade died off into limp waves, and she took a few steps closer. His pale flesh was sink- ing underwater now, ripped apart…

Continue reading the extract here…

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Reviews

Jillian Cantor on Rewriting The Great Gatsby from the Women's Perspective

Review | Author Related

18 January 2022

Jillian Cantor on Rewriting The Great Gatsby from the Women's Perspective

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    11 January 2022

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          Publisher details

          Beautiful Little Fools
          Author
          Jillian Cantor
          Publisher
          Simon and Schuster
          Genre
          Fiction
          Released
          05 January, 2022
          ISBN
          9781761105371

          Synopsis

          A powerful reimagining of The Great Gatsby from the perspective of the three women whose lives are unravelled by one man’s romantic obsession.

          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 unravelling. Each woman is pulled deeper into Jay Gatsby’s romantic obsession, with devastating consequences for all of them.

          This inspired reimagining of the glittering Jazz Age world of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s timeless classic 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.
          Jillian Cantor
          About the author

          Jillian Cantor

          Jillian Cantor is the internationally bestselling author of ten novels for adults and teens, including In Another Time, The Hours Count, Margot and The Lost Letter. Her books have been translated into 13 languages and chosen for Amazon Best of the Month, LibraryReads, Indie Next. She lives in Arizona.

          Books by Jillian Cantor

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