Eileen Souza's Reviews > The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
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Nov 04, 11

bookshelves: bookclub, europe, north-america, world-war, historical-fiction
Read from October 27 to November 04, 2011

Before I provide my review, you have to know that my three least favorite forced reads of all times were A Farewell to Arms, The Great Gatsby, and the Grapes of Wrath - *Shock, egads!, faints at the mere statement of not enjoying Great American Classics*. I know, I’ve just lost followers on Goodreads, but I feel like it’s better to be honest about what I like here, rather than pretend to love every classic. Suffice it to say that I’m not a huge fan of the works written from 1925 – 1940. A Farewell to Arms was probably my LEAST favorite of the three. I can acknowledge that Hemingway changed the way novels are written. I’m just also acknowledging that I find his work Death Valley dry, and just don’t enjoy it.

So, I had a mental block before I even started this book, which is about Hemingway’s wife Hadley. Every time I saw the word Hemingway, I cringed. I had a hard time not putting it down, with a low point where I actually worked on connectivity issues for work on a Sunday afternoon just to avoid the book. However, it’s a book club book, and I have to hand it off to be read by others, so I had to get through it.

I just didn’t really like it. The first 200 pages were slow, though it picked up in the last hundred in the most bizarre way. The bourgeoisie life annoys me. The excessive drinking and vacationing annoys me. The being dead broke, but still having a nanny, and ignoring the baby annoys me. I’m also not a huge fan of Paris. So pretty much nothing in the book spoke to me. However, if you’re interested in 1920’s writers in Paris and the intrigue between the couples as they tried to beat each other in weirdness, I think you’ll enjoy it.

I’ll be interested to see how it is received at book club. I think it will be polarizing, which is always good for book club.

I’ll probably never read it again.
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