This was Fitzgerald's fourth and last novel. It was his least popular and probably too controversial for the 1930's. It is one of the great novels of the twentieth century. It is autobiographical and Dick Divers decline and Nicole's illness mirror the lives of Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. The schism in Nicole's mind likewise reflects the hypocrisy and decadence in 1930's American high society. The Diver's idyllic life is seen to be a sham and disintegrates before our very eyes. The cracks appear when Dick starts a brief and furtive affair with the movie starlet Rosemary Hoyt. He has commenced this as a defence against the infidelity of Nicole whose illness has become an increasing burden. The plot pivots around an incident in Rosemary's apartment which brings certain unpleasant truths to the surface. Including Dick's betrayal of justice to cover up for another's indiscretions and possibly crimes. In the constant flashbacks to Nicole's treatment we discover the trigger for her illness. A true understanding of her condition and strange behaviours ensues for the reader. This is a truly brilliant romantic novel and study of the complexity of mental illness.
Ed the Weary