Dick and Nicole Diver live pleasant, idyllic lives on the French Riviera as American expatriates. Rosemary Hoyt, a young rising actress joins them for the summer, falling "in love" with the Divers and their way of life. Piningly attached to Dick, Rosemary coaxes Dick into a casual affair, then seperates from the couple as she witnesses Nicole in a state of mental illness. The next part dives back into time, explaining the Divers' history; Dick was a psychiatrist to Nicole (once sexually abused by her father), and is essentially "bought" into marriage to care for her. Though Nicole's recovery is successful, her strength comes from Dick, no longer working, and no longer independent. In a series of angry outbursts and Dick's drinking into depression, Nicole breaks away from her broken husband, whose life was spent serving her.
This report prepared by Angela Allan
Set in the 1920s on the French Riviera this book starts optimistically with the Divers Dick and Nicole being the charming wealthy expatriate Americans who are at the centre of the social scene. Onto the beach scene walks 18 year old ‘Daddy's Girl' starlet Rosemary Hoyt who is introduced to Dick and finds him the most charming handsome man she has ever met. The innocent falls in love with him. Dick is a psychiatrist who is writing an important medical paper. Nicole is a diagnosed schizophrenic with vast family wealth who is supported and loved by Dick. However as the book progresses Dick does the manly thing and has an affair with Rosemary and slowly degenerates into heavy drinking. His character starting the book so sunnily glorious is by the end a shell of his former self shunned by polite society. The book wonderfully captures the mood of the wealthy expatriates as they flit about France hedonistically. It is also a tragic love story with Nicole leaving Dick for another man. It speaks of the jazz generation and the high life of rich Americans and Europeans of the 1920s. It is also a story of the darkness of a marriage and the relief of affairs.
This report prepared by John Marcel