Tender is the Night
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Scribner Book Company, Paperback, 9780684801544, July 1995, 320pp.
The Short of It:
The Rest of It:
From Goodreads –
Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick’s harrowing demise.
My “short of it” blurb sounds like an insult but it’s not meant to be. It WAS endlessly amusing but in the best possible way. Fitzgerald delves into his characters and all of their neurotic tendencies but the story is a little bit of train wreck. It’s all over the place but I kind of liked that aspect of the writing.
Dick, is Nicole’s husband but also her doctor. She’s mentally unstable, which makes it very easy for Dick to have an affair with Rosemary Hoyt. No regard is given to his children and although he cares for Nicole, he doesn’t seem to love her anymore. Love and obligation are two different things. This does not go unnoticed by Nicole so there’s this delicious tension between the two of them which made this a surprisingly enjoyable read.
Tender is the Night is said to be the most autobiographical of his novels and I’d have to agree. His long-time relationship with Zelda and her well-documented mental breakdown is echoed here.
Did I enjoy it more than The Great Gatsby? No. There’s something about Gatsby that grabs me from within. The writing is lovely in both novels but Gatsby is the one that stays with me the most.
Have you read either one?
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