Saturday, 26 September 2009

Tender is the Night. A Review

It is said this is one of the best romances by Scott Fitzgerald. It was published in 1934.

In my opinion the plot is divided into three parts. In the first one, the author describes the easy life of a group of wealthy people in the Mediterranean coast of France. The reader knows these characters through the innocent point of view of a young actress of 19 who falls in love with a doctor (Dick) older than her. Dick is married with Nicole and they are the main characters of this story. In fact, this is an autobiographical story in which Dick is Scott and Nicole is his wife Zelda.

The second part of the book is a flash back. Thanks to this flash back the reader knows how Dick and Nicole met each other. Dick was a psychiatrist and was called by a colleague to see one of his patients. She was Nicole and his illness was schizophrenia. In spite of knowing she was insane, he liked her and years later got married with her.

An important point in this story is that she has too much money because her father is a very rich man. Moreover there is a dirty secret between she and her father, which probably is the origin of her madness.

Along the romance, Dick is falling because their relationship is destructive. In the third part they split up. She goes with another man and Dick comes back to the United States.

This book is autobiographical. Scott Fitzgerald was alcoholic as Dick, the main character. And the Fitzgerald’s wife was schizophrenic as Dick’s wife is in the book.

This is a book about Love. What happens when the person you love is a mental sick? The most moving moments of this book are when Dick tries that their relation appears as normal. He wants to hide the strange behaviour of his wife. But this is not always possible.

Their children are silent witnesses who see the compulsive behaviour of their mother and smell the alcoholic breath of their father. In the descriptions of the children’s looks, you can see the worry of Scott about his daughter Scottie.

For me this is one of the best books I have ever read. After reading this romance I hope to read soon another text by this author, maybe The Great Gatsby.


  1. If you enjoyed Tender, you'll enjoy the Great Gatsby. Even though I appreciate the artistry behind Fitzgerald's words, his work has never struck me, though. Its usually because I can't relate to his female characters - which happens a lot in vintage novels. Women were different back then, but I think when written by a male author it kind of makes the shallow behavior of women as if it is a given - this is how they should act. Which is what throws me off. So, basically I prefer to read vintage female authors instead of male. Great review though, and I am now following (referred: book blogs).


  2. Thanks for your comment. I have bought the book "Save me the Waltz" by Scott's wife Zelda. At the moment I am reading "Underground" by Haruki Murakami but when I finish the Harakumi's book I will read the Zelda's book. I hope to know a femenine point of view about those years.