The Paris Wife
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. Followi ...more
1) If you can't be sweet and submissive at least be lively and rich.
2) If you still have post-pregnancy weight from a baby your husband didn't really want and have to stay in to look after it, then don't let the lively and rich (and better-dressed) woman come on holiday with you. Regularly.
3) If you wake up to find that you and your husband have been joined by a naked female on his side of the bed - wha ...more
I just finished this book and I'm a little overwhelmed by it, but I'll do my best to form coherent thoughts. First of all, I cannot stress enough what an amazing job the author did of capturing the atmosphere of post-war Paris. Not that I was there to experience it, but aft ...more
But I promised my sister I'd give it a go; she wanted me to read it because we'd just read A Moveable Feast together, and she sent me the hardcover that she'd read for a recent book club. I couldn't say no.
Then, straight away, Paula McLain p ...more
Maybe a reader has to be a Hemingway fan to enjoy this book, but I've sometimes found the artist interesting even if I don't give a fig for their art. Sometimes an author has even given me a new appreciation for someone I was previously ambivalent about. This didn't happen here, and I found the prose so flat and uninvolving that I bailed on page 207. It didn't seem worth the time and effort to continue.
It's a straightforward novelization of Hadley Hemingway's life wi ...more
I will admit that having just finished this historical novel about your marriage to Ernest Hemingway, I have now googled you and read a wikipedia article about your life. I am happy to read that you apparently lived happily ever after with your second husband out of the limelight, and died an old woman at the age of 87.
But I just have to say, Hadley, when you were asleep naked in bed with your husband Ernest, and Pauline crawled into his side of the bed with him, why in th ...more
Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding , the deeply in love couple sail to Paris where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott and Zelda Fi ...more
To me, this book felt flat.
Like a travel diary with lots of name dropping.
We went _____, we met _____.
I didn't really feel for Hadley.
I didn't really feel for young Ernest.
She lost him to another woman.
She was better off anyway.
In the epilogue, Hadley, who's moved on with her life, described him as an "enigma - fine and strong and weak and cruel. An incomparable friend and a Sonofabitch".
BUT (and it's a big but here, like Sir-Mix-A-Lot big), I am FASCINATED by Hemingway the author. I have to say, "The Paris Wife" only made me that much MORE fascinated. Did I mention I'm also in love with Paris? And that, if I were on ...more
Told through Hadley Hemingway’s perspective (Ernest’s first wife), the story starts with the couple’s meeting and continues to their eventual divorce six year ...more
"He loved them both and that's where the pain came in."
Musings of Ernest Hemingway written by Paula McLain in THE PARIS WIFE, an historical novel of his five year marriage to Hadley Richardson before the fame of The Sun Also Rises.
What kind of partner does the twenty-one year old Ernest require while standing in the wings of fame and fortune? He has married Hadley after a brief courtship, eight years his senior, conser ...more
While I enjoy the story of Ernest Hemingway and the socio-historic context, I don't feel c ...more
I did find a couple of things to be lacking. First, in the book, Hadley Richardson seems to take their lifestyle for granted. While they live in near poverty, they are able to afford a great deal of travel throughout Europe, employing domestic help, and oft ...more
When I first heard the review of The Paris Wife on NPR on March 1 2011, Hemingway and his works were distant encounters during my teen years in the 1950s. Although novels as The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls were, ...more
This novel is written in the first person narrative of Hadley Richardson, the first wife of Ernest Hemingway. I don't know why or even how but Hadley sat in my lounge room with me and told me her story. I actually heard her voice while I read this novel: sorry, I mean, she told me their story.
At 28, Hadley is a shy girl feeling defeated by life when she meets a young Ernest Hemingway. Just beginning his life as a writer, 21yr old Ernest is fresh back from the war, self possessed and vibrant but ...more
Overall, this novel was a poignant and breezy read. I guess with biographical historical novels, one would usually feel that the author, in trying to fill in the blanks of a factual account with creative bits, would tend to assume a sympathetic stance in regards to the protagonist (otherwise why write the story at all). Whether that sympathy is so strong that it lends a revisionist tone or whether it is balanced by reserve is a matter of the author's judgment call.
The main storyline is riveting ...more
This is a classic case of historical fiction that stays too close to its source material, and then suffers under comparison with it. [I want to thank a reader with comments, below, who helped me clarify my judgment so that I could add that key sentence to this review.]
Having read everything by and about Hemingway ...more
Hadley Richardson was the first of Ernest Hemingway’s four wives and this is her fictional memoir. It starts in Chicago, where the naïve Hadley meets and falls in love with Hemingway and ends with Hadley’s account of the last conversation she had with Hemingway before he committed suicide in 1961. The focus of the novel is on Hadley and Hemingway’s life in Paris in the 1920s as Hemingway pursued his dream of becoming a successful writer, and on the eventual breakdown of their relationship.
It was like reading two separate books. The first part is filled with stilted prose and the daily drivel of everyday life. It isn't until she and Hemingway return to Spain- the inspiration for Th ...more
The Hemingway's hung out with talented self centered people of means. Hadley lost herself and tried to morph into Er ...more
(view spoiler)[His ending of suicide is sad, but after his wild life of alcoholism and adultery, at least Hemingway wrote that "he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley." That was at least something, I guess, for Hadley.
McLain creates vivid characters and it is hard to remember at times that this is fiction and not non-fiction. I parti ...more
Different points of view, different authors, different styles, fiction or non-fiction ......
The only way to know is to try. Paris Without End: The True Story of Hemingway's First Wife is unfortunately not available. I do prefer biographies. I will start with this and then read A Moveable Feast.
I have in the meantime read a biography on Hemingwa ...more
I was anticipating this book, as it was recommended and liked by a fellow reader with similar taste. I have to say I was disappointed. I knew little about Hemingway's personal story and next to none about the early years and I love learning from historical fiction. From what I read after finishing this, it is clear that Ms McLain did a lot of research and really did well recounting the events that surrounded his first marriage to Hadley.
But....I didn't like Hemingway, felt sorry ...more