Jean's Reviews > The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
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's review
Jun 09, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: 2012, audio
Read in May, 2012

Meh. I did not enjoy this book. It could be because I listened to this rather than read it, but I don't think so.

I could not relate to Hadley at all, which makes a book hard to enjoy for me. Even though I admit I am not a romantic and wasn't in her position, I know, times were different then, I can't imagine being so weak and pathetic. At the end, her and Ernest didn't even have love anymore, so romance was out of the question.

She did nothing for herself, which is fine, but then complained about her lack of having a sense of self or career. What's the old quote, if you hate your situation, change it? She could have easily gotten involved in some type of work or hobby, rather than complain about having no life of her own. She needed a nanny and a cook, yet as I said, did nothing all day. As a working mom who does a million things each and every day, I can't relate.

She was a complete doormat. The instance that completely blew my mind was when he admitted to his affair, then got mad at her for bringing it up and ruining his have his cake and eat it too lifestyle, and what does she do? She makes him a ham sandwich! He gets mad at her for ruining his affair and she makes him a sandwich. Then she continues to allow the affair continue and they all merrily go on vacation together. At least she admits she was weak. One line that almost made me stop listening was when he said: "It makes me think WE'VE ruined everything." And she replies: "WE have." There was no we. He cheated, wanted them all to live happily together, and she tried to wait out his affair. HE ruined it.

He weak and feeble mind made this book almost unbearable for me. As I said, it was a different time and I was not in her situation so can't assume how I'd react, but would hope any woman, or man in that position, would not allow themselves to be trampled on over and over.

The only positive was the descriptions of Paris, Italy, and the literary giants of the time the Hemingways surrounded themselves with.

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