“Actually that’s my secret — I can’t even talk about you to anybody because I don’t want any more people to know how wonderful you are.”
The French Riviera – 1920s. Lively, clamorous and flamboyant. And also the backdrop for the story of the Divers, an American psychoanalyst, and his delicate wife. Holding court at their glamorous villa on the Côte D’Azur their life seems perfect: money, friends, and parties. But when a beautiful and upcoming movie star enters the scène, the first cracks start to show, and the true reality of their relationship is about to unravel.
This is a special book, but it is not for everyone. It is not a happy love story, nor is it an easy read. This novel is complex, dark, and very confusing; especially book 1. First of all, we keep jumping back and forth; the narrative doesn’t flow nicely, and you’re repeatedly wondering where exactly you’re in the story. This book could’ve benefitted massively from a good edit. Secondly, the characters. The non-important”/”not interesting” ones get a good deal of story time; while other, more compelling characters, are left unexplored. Not to mention, that I didn’t feel connected to any of them. However, this might be due to the characters not being extremely “likeable”; and let’s be honest, no one likes the confrontation with his/her own dark side. Nonetheless, an opportunity for building depth and intrigue has been passed over.
Be that as it may, the darkness of the novel also offered some highly interesting points of view, as well as a peek into Fitzgerald’s own life. Written at the darkest time of his life; the illness of his wife Zelda, the alcoholism, the money problems, or the opposite there off consumerism, are all in some way or another point of discussion in this novel. Be it in the portrayal of a person or in the expectations of society. And although, this makes the book kinda depressing it also showed some rawness; something I haven’t seen before in his other works.
Would I recommend you to pick up this book? Mweh, not really. Unless you’re a big Fitzgerald fan and are dying to read more of his work, otherwise, I would skip this one.
- Title: Tender is the Night
- Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Published: 1934
- Pages: 353
- Rating: 3/5
- Get your copy here!