Soonhar's Reviews > The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
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's review
Feb 14, 2012

Read in April, 2013

I was not a big Hemingway fan and this book softened my view of the author, who was known for his machismo. Written in sort-of a Hemingway style (but to me, way more engaging) in the first-person voice of his first wife Hadley Richardson whom he divorced after five years, it is highly readable and filled with historic details. Covering the years when they met until their divorce, with an epilogue, it gives an intimate look at the early years of one of the most iconic figures in 20th century literary history. It also tells the touching story of a woman who, at age 29, found herself swept off her feet by someone she wasn't meant to be for the rest of her life. Was Hadley just at the right place at the right time, or was there something about her that made her the perfect first wife for someone who went on to marry three others? If nothing else, in the span of the six years or so that they were together, Hadley certainly grew from a somewhat naive, dreamy St. Louis 'girl' to a more worldly woman who survived being part of what Gertrude Stein called "The Lost Generation."

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