The characters aren't worth caring about. In many ways, I think that's part of why I found this novel so compelling. An early reviewer called them “trivial people”, which reportedly annoyed Fitzgerald: he must have recognized the truth of it. No matter. Those shallow, petty characters reflect much of what we hold dear in ourselves and Fitzgerald shows us ourselves, our lives, our hopes. Each of us thinks of ourself as a good person, wants to be a good person, but things happen. We find ourselves in places where we don't want to be, without knowing how we got there. Tender is the Night is such a story and it's rare to go five pages without an “Aha” moment, a clearly worded insight, a pause of recognition. Fitzgerald saw and understood much. Even better, he's able to write about it with compassion and, yes, tenderness. If I'm around in another ten years, remind me to pick this one up again. I'd like to see what I missed on this reading.