First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.


First published in 1922, The Beautiful and the Damned followed Fitzgerald’s impeccable debut, This Side of Paradise, thus securing his place in the tradition of great American novelists. Embellished with the author’s lyrical prose, here is the story of Harvard-educated, aspiring aesthete Anthony Patch and his beautiful wife, Gloria. As they await the inheritance of his grandfather’s fortune, their reckless marriage sways under the influence of alcohol and avarice. A devastating look at the nouveau riche, and the New York nightlife, as well as the ruinous effects of wild ambition, The Beautiful and the Damnedachieved stature as one of Fitzgerald’s most accomplished novels. Its distinction as a classic endures to this day. Pocket Book’s Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader. Special features include critical perspectives, suggestions for further read, and a unique visual essay composed of period photographs that help bring every word to life. (Source: Goodreads)

And it is the weekend again! Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all enjoy the weekend and that you are able to rest well. Also, I hope that you have all ended the week on a high note. I hope that you were all able to accomplish everything you wanted to accomplish at the start of the week. I hope that we spend the weekend resting and recovering. I hope you all have fun. Today is also the last day of September! We are now officially done with nine of the twelve months of the year. I can’t believe we are about to enter the last quarter of the year. As the year approaches its last three months, I hope that your prayers have been answered and that all you worked hard for in the past months will get repaid. I hope you are doing well, in your body, mind, and spirit. I hope everyone will stay healthy amidst the threat of COVID-19. As we enter the last third of the year, I hope that the rest of the year will be kind and gentle to everyone.

Before I can dive into the weekends, let me close this week with a First Impression Friday update. In the past month, I have been reading works of American literature. I had one goal in mind: tick off as many books from my active reading challenges. Toward the end of August, I realized that I have been lagging behind on some of my reading goals this year. In my desire to cover as much ground as possible, I nearly forgot about these challenges. Thankfully, there are still three months to reorganize my priorities to redress this and in order to meet all my 2022 reading goals and challenges. Interestingly (or perhaps not), several books in these reading challenges are part of American literature, hence, September transforming into an American literature reading month.

My current read is by one of the most popular names in the ambit of American literature: F. Scott Fitzgerald. I mean, who hasn’t heard of The Great Gatsby? Anyway, I am reading my fourth book by the popular writers of the first half of the 20th century, The Beautiful and Damned. His second novel, this also marks my first Fitzgerald novel since 2018 when I read Tender is the Night. Set in New York City, The Beautiful and Damned introduced the readers to Anthony Patch. The year was 1913 and Patch was a twenty-five-year-old student grandson of a wealthy grandfather. Anthony was a carefree young man who had no vision of his future. He resented his grandfather and his grandfather matched this energy; they cannot stand each other.

When Anthony returned to the Big Apple after living in Rome, Anthony was under the impression that his grandfather was dying and that he would finally receive his inheritance. But then fate played one of its cruel jokes, or perhaps not. Grandfather Patch rallied and was able to recover, much to Anthony’s dismay. Nevertheless, Anthony decided to stay in New York City and be part of its partying scene where he met Gloria Gilbert, a beautiful flapper from Kansas City. Anthony had no intentions of marrying, that was until he met Gloria. What ensued was a story of how their push-and-pull love story developed. There were, however, some veiled implications that Gloria married Anthony because of what he was bound to receive following his grandfather’s demise. So anyway, that was how far I have read into the story.

Having read Fitzgerald’s works, I wasn’t totally surprised when I learned that the main characters were modeled after people in the author’s life, the author and his wife, Zelda, to be exact. Fitzgerald, after all, is also one of the most storied writers. Other blueprints of his works were woven into the novel. His examination of the Jazz Age society was again a central theme. The newlyweds were creatures of the night and were often found in New York City’s party scenes, reminiscent of The Great Gatsby. From what I can gather from what I have read so far, the book is a portrait of New York’s elite’s indulgent lifestyle. This somehow reminded me of Edith Wharton.

So, how will the story end? Hmmm. Tragedy is another prominent component of Fitzgerald’s oeuvre. Because of this, I am somehow expecting one to happen. I wouldn’t be surprised if Gloria and Anthony’s marriage would end up in one or brush up with one. Will it be a happily ever after? I can’t wait to see, rather read what happens to the Patch’s marriage. How about you fellow reader? What book or books are you taking with you for the weekend? I hope you get to enjoy them. For now, happy weekend! And as always, happy reading and take care!