Tender is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I read Tender is the Night for #CBAM2017 and Deweys 24 hours #readathon, and the book is about Rosemary and Doctor Richard having an affair behind the back of, and partly because of, the doctors mentally ill wife. So I need to get this off my chest before anything else. I don’t like the doctor.

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Yes, I really don’t like Doctor Richard (or Dick as he is sometimes called). I was willing to give him all the benefits of the doubts, as living with someone who’s mentally is can be very difficult. But this wasn’t just something that landed on his lap. He was warned, extensively, about her case and about how he shuld and can leave her, and he willingly entered the relationship. You can’t do that and still play the victim card.

No cookies for you doctor.

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I’m tough, but fair (and hyper on caffeine right now).

But, despite not liking our main protagonist, this was an amazing book. It’s very much a character study of how mental illness affect a romantic relationship. It was the last Fitzgerald wrote, as he apparently was so miffed by the poor reception he lost the will to write. Which is to bad. Fitzgerald manages to talk about a taboo topic in a respectful way, showing all the complexity of it. And while I don’t like the doctor I still see him as a compelling character. I don’t have to like him to think he is well written. I was not a fan of Great Gadsby. This is a much better book to highlight Fitzgerald’s strengths as an expert in people watching.

“One writes of scars healed, a loose parallel to the pathology of the skin, but there is no such thing in the life of an individual. There are open wounds, shrunk sometimes to the size of a pin-prick but wounds still. The marks of suffering are more comparable to the loss of a finger, or of the sight of an eye. We may not miss them, either, for one minute in a year, but if we should there is nothing to be done about it.”

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