Latest Read: The Paris Wife

Here are the basics ...
Book: The Paris Wife: A Novel
Author: Paula McLain
Category: Fiction 

My thoughts ...
One sentence summary: This is the story of the marriage between Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, told from her point of view. 

The good:  
Prior to reading The Paris Wife, there were only three things I associated with Hemingway - the movie In Love and War (which I used to love), hating The Old Man in the Sea in high school and that Hemingway is my father's favorite author.  That said, I was hooked from start to finish.  The author had this way of making you feel like you were right there with Hadley.  You felt her joy, her anger, her grief.  And even when I wanted to reach into the book and shake her for staying with Hemingway, she was just a really good person (far too good for him).  Their story - despite their end and flaws - somehow still came across as a beautiful one.  One that I find myself really curious about.  It's funny, my dad has been telling me to read A Moveable Feast for years (it's his fave) and even bought it for me but I never read it.  If I had, it's basically Hemingway's memoir about his life with Hadley in Paris.  I may have to search my bookshelf for it now.  

The bad: 
I don't have anything bad to say.  But as the summary suggests, Hadley was his FIRST wife -- meaning he had more (many, many more).  They're not all covered in this book because it's Hadley's story but I'm sure you can guess how their marriage fell apart.  And the truth is, I don't like reading about philandering husbands (just ask me how I feel about Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin - that book had me seeing red).  But in this case it was a true story and crucial to the book.  Just giving you a fair warning if you're anything like me. 

Do I recommend?:  
YES.  It's so well-written and gives the reader such an interesting look into Hemingway, especially if you only associate him with The Old Man and the Sea.  And if you do decide to read the book, definitely check out The Hemingway Project (I just listened to a few of Hadley's recordings myself!).

Happy reading!

1 comment

  1. This book seems really interesting! I'd love to read it, just to get an even better idea of what Hemingway was like and his own personal life story.

    BUT I am in complete agreement - I really dislike books that have philandering husbands. Heart of the Matter elicited the same reaction in me!


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