1925 Rosemary Hoyt, a young but already famous after the success in the film “Father’s daughter” Hollywood actress, together with her mother comes to the Cote d’Azur. Summer is not a season, only one of the numerous hotels is open. On a deserted beach, two companies of Americans: “white” and “black”, as Rosemary called them to herself. The girl is much nicer “black” – tanned, beautiful, unchained, they are at the same time impeccably tactful; she readily accepts the invitation to join them and immediately falls a little like a child falls in love with Dick Diver, the soul of this company. Dick and his wife Nicole are local inhabitants, they have a house in the village of Tarm; Abe and Mary North and Tommy Barban are their
Before leaving, Dick arranges a farewell dinner, for which the “fair-skinned” company is also called. The dinner was a success: the “fair-skinned” in the beams of Dick’s charm revealed the best sides of their natures; but Rosemary, comparing them with the owners, is imbued with the consciousness of the exclusivity of the Divers… And the dinner ended with a duel. Mrs. McKisco, one of the “fair-skinned” people, went into the house and saw something there that she did not have time to share: Tommy Barban very convincingly did not advise her to discuss what was happening at the Villa “Diana”; in the end, Tommy fires with Mr. McKisco – however, with a mutually favorable outcome.
In Paris during one of the dizzying escalades, Rosemary says to himself: “Well, I’m also burning my life.” Wandering with Nicole on the shopping, she is attached to the way a very rich woman spends money. Rosemary falls in love with Dick even more, and he barely has the strength to maintain the image of an adult, twice the senior, serious man – he is by no means indifferent to the charms of this “girl in bloom”; half-child, Rosemary does not understand what an avalanche brought down. Meanwhile, Abe North embarks on drinking and, instead of leaving for America, in one of the bars provokes a conflict between American and Parisian Negroes among themselves and with the police; Dick is getting the hang of this conflict; disassembly is crowned with a Negro corpse in Rosemary’s room. Dick arranged so that the reputation of “Papa’s daughter” remained unspoiled, – the case was hushed up, there were no reporters, but the Paris Divers are leaving in a hurry. When Rosemary peeps through the door of their room, she hears an inhuman howl and sees the distorted face of Nicole: she stared at the blood-soaked blanket. Then she understood what Mrs. McKisco did not have time to tell. And Dick, returning from Nicole to the Cote d’Azur, for the first time in six years of marriage, feels that for him it is a way from somewhere, and not somewhere else.
In the spring of 1917, Dr. Richard Diver, who was demobilized, arrives in Zurich to complete his education and receive his academic degree. The war passed him by, – he was already too valuable at that time to let him into cannon fodder; on a scholarship from Connecticut, he studied at Oxford, completed a course in America and trained in Vienna with the greatest Freud. In Zurich, he is working on the book Psychology for a Psychiatrist and dreams of being sleepless nights being kind, being sensitive, being brave and smart – and being loved if it does not interfere. At twenty-six, he still retained many youthful illusions – the illusion of eternal power, and eternal health, and the predominance of a good beginning in man – however, there were illusions of an entire people.
Under Zurich, in the psychiatric hospital of Dr. Domler, his friend and colleague Franz Gregorovius works. For three years in this hospital is the daughter of American millionaire Nicole Warren; she lost her mind, becoming a mistress of her own father when she was sixteen. Her correspondence program with the Diver was included in the program of her cure. For three years, Nicole’s health has recovered enough that she is going to be discharged. Seeing his correspondent, Nicole falls in love with him. Dick in a difficult situation: on the one hand, he knows that this feeling was partly provoked for medicinal purposes; on the other hand, he, “collecting her personality from pieces,” like no other, realizes that if this feeling is taken away from her, there will be emptiness in her soul. And besides, Nicole is very beautiful, and he is not only a doctor, but also a man. Contrary to the arguments of reason and the advice of Franz and Domler, Dick marries Nicole. He realizes that relapses of the disease are unavoidable – he is ready for this. What a big problem he sees in Nicole’s wealth – he does not marry at all on her money (as Nicole Baby thinks), but rather against them – but that does not stop him. They love each other, and, no matter what, they are happy.
Fearing for the health of Nicole, Dick pretends to be a confident homeboy – for six years of marriage they almost never parted. During the protracted relapse that occurred after the birth of their second child, Topci’s daughter, Dick learned to separate Nicole from Nicole from a healthy person and, at such times, feel only as a doctor, leaving aside that he was also a husband.
Before his eyes and with his hands, the personality of Nicole healthy was formed and turned out to be very bright and strong enough that her attacks, which she does not bother to keep, are more and more often annoyed. Not only does it seem to him that Nicole uses his illness to retain power over others.
Dick tries hard to keep some financial independence, but it’s given him more and more difficult: it’s not easy to resist the flow of things and money that floods him-in this Nicole also sees the lever of his power. They are further removed from the simple conditions on which their union was once made… The duality of Dick’s position – husband and doctor – destroys his personality: he can not always distinguish the necessary distance from the doctor in relation to the patient from the chill in the heart in relation to to his wife, with whom he is one flesh and blood…
Rosemary’s appearance made him realize all this. Nevertheless, the life of the Divers does not change.
Christmas 1926 Divers meet in the Swiss Alps; they are visited by Franz Gregorovius. He offers Dick to buy a clinic together, so that Dick, the author of many recognized works on psychiatry, spent there several months a year, which would give him material for new books, and he took on the clinical work himself. And of course, “what can a European treat an American for, how not for money,” – to buy a clinic we need seed money. Dick agrees, letting himself be persuaded Baby, who basically disposes of the money of the Warren and considers this company profitable, that staying in the clinic in a new capacity will benefit Nicole’s health. “There I could not worry about her at all,” says Baby.
This did not happen. A year and a half of a monotonous measured life on the Zug lake, where there is nowhere to get away from each other, provoke a heavy relapse: having arranged a scene of unreasonable jealousy, Nicole with frantic laughter almost does not derail the car in which not only they sat with Dick, but also the children. Unable to live from the attack until the attack, Dick, having entrusted Nicole with Franz’s care and a nurse, leaves to rest from her, from herself… supposedly to Berlin at the congress of psychiatrists. There he receives a telegram about the death of his father and goes to America for a funeral. On the way back Dick calls in Rome with a secret thought to see Rosemary, who is filmed there in the next film. Their meeting took place; something that began once in Paris, found its completion, but Rosemary’s love can not save him – he already has no strength for a new love. “I’m like the Black Death.
After parting with Rosemary, he is monstrously poured; from the police station of his, terribly beaten, rescues the baby in Rome Baby – she is almost happy that Dick is no longer flawless in relation to their family.
Dick drinks more and more, and increasingly he is changed by charm, the ability to understand everything and forgive everything. He almost did not notice the readiness with which Franz takes his decision to quit the business and leave the clinic – Franz himself already wanted to offer him this, because the reputation of the clinic does not benefit the constant smell of alcohol coming from Dr. Diver.
For Nicole is new that now she can not shift her problems to him; she has to learn to be responsible for herself. And when this happened, Dick disliked her, as a living reminder of the years of darkness. They become strangers to each other.
Divers return to Tarm, where they meet Tommy Barbana, – he fought in several wars, changed; and the new Nicole looks at him with new eyes, knowing that he has always loved her. On the Cote d’Azur, there is also Rosemary. Under the influence of the memories of her first meeting with her five years ago, Dick tries to arrange something similar to the former escapades, and Nicole with cruel clarity, intensified by jealousy, sees how he has aged and changed. Changed all around – this place became a fashionable resort, the beach that Dick once cleared with rakes every morning, filled with a public like the then “pale-faced,” Mary North (now Countess Mingetti) does not want to recognize the Divers… Dick leaves this beach as deposed the king who lost his kingdom.
Nicole, celebrating her final healing, becomes the mistress of Tommy Barban and then marries him, and Dick returns to America. He practices in small towns, never lingering for a long time, and letters from each other come less and less often.