Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Paris Wife - Paula McLain

I picked this up at the used bookstore because I'd read a blogger's review.  I hadn't known that it was the story of Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley and had passed it over before.  Hadley was almost six years older when they met in their 20's.  Their marriage was spent mostly in Paris during the jazz age, among friends like Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald.  They had a son (one of three sons of Hemingway; he had two others with his second wife) and she was his muse during the writing of his novel, The Sun Also Rises.

I enjoyed reading of how passionate Hemingway was about writing and how much he struggled to write and get published.  At one point his wife brings all his writing to him and loses the valise carrying the papers.  It was a crushing blow and seems to have been a turning point in a relationship that was already deteriorating.

Hadley is portrayed as a traditional woman who lived a sheltered life and never embraced the wild, reckless life of the 1920's after WWI.  She was his steady anchor as he threw himself into life, running with the bulls in Paloma, skiing in the Alps, drinking in Paris.

A good read.

Published: 2011  Read: November 2015  Genre: Historical fiction

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