What I’m Reading: The Paris Wife

A couple weeks ago I got a text message from Nell saying-Hey have your read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain?  It’s good.  I think you’ll like it.

Well that is enough of a recommendation for me to run to the computer and see if my online library had it…and they did.

The question now was…would I like it?
I really didn’t think I was going to like the book.  The story is a fictionalized telling of Ernest Hemingway’s marriage to Hadley Richardson his first of his four wives.  Being I had went to college as an English major I’ve read my share of Hemingway and knew that he was a cheater of a husband.  Typically I don’t like cheater stories so I was apprehensive.

It turns out, I liked it.  I think one of the reasons I did was because this tells about Hemingway’s early years.  I don’t think he was as eccentric as he would later become.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “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. 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 Fitzgerald.
Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually they 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.”

In writing this review and going to Amazon, I was able to see pictures of Ernest and Hadley that made the story come alive even more.  You can find them here.

I liked the book enough that I’m tempted now to read a book about Zelda Fitzgerald-wife of the famous writer F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Although it is not by the same author it about the same times.  Often in the Paris Wife, the author talks about the Hemingways and Fitzgeralds meeting….I did put my name on the list for the author’s newest book out, Circling the Sun.  This book is suppose to be about Beryl Markham the person the movie, “Out of Africa” was written about.  Do you remember that movie? …with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford?  I had loved that movie.

Anyway…Amazon readers said 4.2 stars…I’ll agree.

Thanks for the recommendation Nell.  It was a good book.

3 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Paris Wife”

  1. Sorry to correct you but Out of Africa was about Karen Blixen who wrote the book under the pen name of Isak Dineson. Beryl Markham features in the story but
    Meryl Streep was portraying Karen Blixen.

  2. Hi Jo, Read this book last year and really enjoyed it. I didn’t know anything about Hadley before I started the book, so the ending was sad, but I would recommend it!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top