Tender is the Night
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
Rosemary Hoyt is a young American movie star vacationing in the French Riviera when she meets Dick and Nicole Driver. Dick is a brilliant psychiatrist and Nicole is both his wife and patient. Their relationship is complicated, by not only Nicole’s illness, but also by money. Rosemary’s appearance in Dick’s life only causes more strife for him and what he considers the responsibilities of his life.
Romantic love plays a dominate role for both Rosemary and Dick. Rosemary because she is so young and inexperienced and Dick because he is in a marriage where the notion of romance was never even considered. He liked and admired Nicole when they met but romance is not and was never a part of the marriage. Rosemary is buoyed by the mere idea and teases and cajoles Dick into believing it might be possible to have a romantic life with her. The two are bound by a strange connection that neither is willing to break but one that cannot be kept up either.
I read The Great Gatsby last year and found this one on my shelf while looking for my next book. I can’t say that I enjoyed this one as much. I felt alternatively bad, sad, and completely disgusted by the characters. They were young, rich, carefree, and in some instances all together unlikable. I know at certain times that I was not supposed to empathize with them but even though I knew that, I still was annoyed by them. I put this book down a few times in the hopes that when I returned, the characters would have redeemed themselves. Some did, some didn’t.
I didn’t stop reading though and I’m glad of that. Fitzgerald has such a beautiful and amazing writing style that I can’t help but be entranced. I was finding myself truly disliking these people and their actions but I still wanted to know how it would turn out, knowing full well there would be a tragic end in there somewhere. The language is so soothing and lulling that he dupes you into reading more and more.
Somewhere hidden on the depths of my shelves is This Side of Paradise. I won’t be reading it anytime soon, but I will be reading it. I may, for now at least, be done with my latest Fitzgerald book, but I know I will be going back for more in the future.