Beverly's Reviews > The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
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Sep 17, 2011

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Read in September, 2011

If I could, I would rate this 3.5, somewhere between liked and really liked. On a personal level, it was a difficult book to read, hitting close to my own life in my 20s and early 30s (minus the Paris and expatriates parts). I suppose, though, that one of the tasks of literature is to give us new ways of examining ourselves and our world, in which case, this book was an excellent one for me to read.

McLain's background as a poet is obvious; her writing is precise and often beautiful to read. I enjoyed learning more about Hemingway. Having read A Moveable Feast and many of his novels, it was interesting to get a different (if fictitious) view of his life and work.

I was taken out of the narrative dream (I read this in two sittings) when the p.o.v. shifts from 1st person (Hadley) to 3rd person (close to Hemingway). I understand the technical reasons why the author did this, but I felt that she was not trusting the reader enough. Each time the brief Hemingway sections appeared, I groaned a bit. The information revealed could have been left out or brought to us via Hadley's p.o.v. Otherwise, I found this to be an enjoyable book.
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