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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wifecaptures 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 becomeThe 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. 

An interesting story about Ernest Hemingway's first wife Hadley from her point of view. Lots of well developed characters with many that you had heard of (F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald) and some you thought you knew from books you have read (The Great Gatsby). Character development was done so well that I disliked most of the characters from being self absorbed, narcissistic and extremely unlikeable - including Hadley herself - but I think this was the point.

I actually felt myself angry with Hadley at several points. She kept describing how poor they were, yet they were always going away from Paris on luxury vacations to Spain, South of France and such places, while also having a full time cook, housekeeper and nanny! I want to be that poor! I also disliked her for how often she left her child behind for weeks and months just to keep Ernest happy.

It did make an interesting book group discussion and led a few of the group into wanting to read more of Hemingways novels and some of the other authors who appeared in the book.

Well worth a read

1 comment:

  1. Not something I would normally go for but your review intrigues me, thanks Hazel

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

    P.s the giveaway this month is a Hemingway book, if you haven't read it feel free to put in an entry