Tag Archives: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Review: Tender is the Night

Tender is the Night

Tender is the Night
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Scribner Book Company, Paperback, 9780684801544, July 1995, 320pp.

The Short of It:

Endlessly amusing.

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?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Villa America

Villa America

Villa America
By Liza Klaussmann
Little Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316211369, August 2015, 432pp.

The Short of It:

Based on the real-life inspiration of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night.

The Rest of It:

I have yet to read Tender is the Night but apparently, Gerald and Sara Murphy’s relationship was the basis of the novel. And let me tell you, they are a very interesting couple to read about. Villa America, is a fictionalized account of their marriage and their close friendship with Scott Fitzgerald and is wife, Zelda.

Sara and Gerald meet, marry and throw a lot of parties. Their lives start off glamorous. They purchase Villa America, located on the French Riviera. There, they rub elbows with Hemingway and other notable guests. It’s all very amusing and theatrical and dare I say it, frivolous to a degree.

But things get complicated. Gerald and Sara’s relationship is more like brother and sister than husband and wife and when Gerald falls for someone else, Sara isn’t quite sure how to address it. It’s a different time and the underlying message is that she’s okay with it, but only if she can save face while allowing it. See what I mean? It’s a little scandalous and complicated so for me, the last half of the book was the strongest half. The first half was entirely too much set-up, if you ask me.

The ending was very strange and I’m not even sure I am interpreting it correctly so I will save my thoughts for those who want to chat with me privately about it.

Overall, it has a touch of the glitz and glam we’ve come to expect from the Fitzgeralds. They are always interesting to read about. But I feel as if there was so much more to Gerald and Sara. Much more and in this novel, I felt like the author barely scratched the surface. For this reason, the book was just “okay” for me. Not great.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.