Paris Wife: A Novel, The

Paula McLain
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley. Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for. A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-02-24
Stating the obvious here, but Hemingway is an ass.
And I'm thinking that spending 6 hours yesterday inhaling for book club tomorrow wasn't my smartest decision.As a result, everything is muddled up in my brain right now.

So Hemingway married an older woman, and then enjoy several blissful years together, but eventually Hemingway does what he will always do-run and cheat. I can't say I have ever read anything of Heminway's but The Old Man and Sea so I can't comment on his writing. Just his ability as a human.

This, however, isn't Heminway's story it's Hadley's story. It's the story of Paris between the wars when things were loose-morals, drinks, and life. That story is amazing, well written and well researched.

So, I enjoyed it-despite Hemingway being an ass.
Reviewed: 2017-03-18
The last 1/3 of the book was interesting, heartbreaking even. But it took me a month to get to it.
Reviewed: 2017-01-29
I went into this book with high expectations. As a Hemingway enthusiast, who also happens to love romance novels, it seemed like the perfect combination.

Totally wrong.

I had some fun untangling the fact from the fiction, but I also got no new insights into Ernest Hemingway as a man. That's okay, this story is about Hadley, after all.

Too bad she's apparently a boring mess who writes like a wannabe Hemingway, devoid of all the magic.

At the end of the novel, Hadley insists that she and Ernest had changed each other so much, for the better, even if their marriage fell apart. But she has zero personality to change in the first place. It's dull and nothing but a play-by-play of Ernest's years in Paris, and somehow much more dull than if it had been told via nonfiction.
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