Georgette's Reviews > Paris Without End: The True Story of Hemingway's First Wife

Paris Without End by Gioia Diliberto
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's review
Oct 25, 11

really liked it
Read from October 20 to 25, 2011

This was really, really good. I had a difficult time getting into it at first. I believe if I had read this before Paula McClain's The Paris Wife, likely I wouldn't have had such a difficult time. McClain's book is great, this was also great, except I think I disliked Ernest Hemingway a lot more after reading this than after reading Paris Wife.
Hadley Richardson Hemingway was a strong woman who grew into her nature- meeting and marrying Hemingway brought out her life force, the only trouble was, he threw the marriage under the bus, and Hadley, despite trying to remain friends with the other woman(and even living with them both), couldn't do it, and they divorced. You get the feeling from the author and their interviews she conducted that Hemingway never recovered from and forgave his wife for losing his manuscripts on a train to see him. It seems as if he turned inward and that was the beginning of the end. I, myself, after reading this, just believe it was the nature of the beast of infidelity that did them in. I think there was enough love and mutual respect there, that if there had been marriage counseling and the like back then, maybe they could've made it work. All in all, Hadley's story has a happy ending. Hemingway, not so much.
It's good to read a book like this every once in a while, to get an idea of what drives the human and creative spirit. It's quoted several times through the book-from different sources- that despair drives the human spirit into creativity and success beyond their means. Hemingway's career took off, but not until after his marriage was already starting to sink. It makes you wonder.
Overall, a really, really great biography.
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