Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Book Review: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain


Title: The Paris Wife

Author: Paula McLain

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

About the Book: 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.
 (from Goodreads)

My thoughts: I did like this book but somewhere in the middle it started to become really long for me.  I thought the author did a good job of describing the relationship between Hadley and Ernest and especially their introduction to life in Paris. The whole lifestyle and the traveling that they did was incredible and I couldn't imagine living like that.  Hadley had a really hard time fitting in, as she was more content with family than the fast life that Ernest seemed to be drawn too.  Had this been a different environment or a different time, maybe her and Ernest would have been able to survive it - however, we may not have gotten some of the Hemingway books that are around today. 

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