“This beautifully written story captures that electric time, the 1920's in that electric city, Paris, through the eyes of Hadley Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's first wife. While Hadley reveals the strengths and, ultimately the weaknesses in her complex and fascinating marriage, readers are treated to a novel rich in detail and riddled with real-life characters who fascinate us all.”
-- Jeanne Regentin, Between the Covers, Harbor Springs, MI
It's been a good while since I've swooned over a book the way I swooned over Paula McLain's The Paris Wife. It's good, friends. Really good.
The Paris Wife is the love story of the remarkable Hadley, and her equally remarkable (and somewhat difficult) husband, Ernest Hemingway. Oh, I know what you're thinking, "Eew! Hemingway! Who wants to read about that womanizing bore!" I admit I was a little reluctant, too. But this beautifully-written book is about Hemingway's early years, before he had four wives and a line of rustic, manly furniture named after him at Ethan Allen. The writing is gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. McLain's vivid descriptions of Paris in the 1920's are worth the price of the book, alone. And I loved that the minor "characters" were the all other authors I read in college: Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, etc. Oh, to have lived in Paris in the 1920's! I'm not going to lie, finishing the last few chapters proved difficult for me; I wasn't ready to let Hadley go (John always laughs at me when I say this). She's definitely a "character" I'll carry around with me for a while.
Go pick up The Paris Wife, and get ready to swoon.
PS I didn't really like any of the Hemingway I read in high school and college, but this book made me want to run right out and re-read everything he wrote! I'm going to start with A Moveable Feast.