Monica's Reviews > The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
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May 10, 12

bookshelves: audiobook, historical-interest, bio-autobio
Read from April 19 to May 03, 2012

** spoiler alert ** I was skeptical at first, I never understood Historical Fiction, is it fact or fiction, which parts are facts? I usually prefer the facts, and see fiction as a waste of time, but I was already into the book, and wanted to like it. I ready up on the author, Paula McLain and it turns out she used mostly Hadley and Ernest's letters to each other as her sources. She also read Ernest work during his Paris' years to piece together the characters.
At first glance Hadley's marriage to Ernest sounds ideal; they spent most of their five years in Paris with frequent trips to Spain. They had a nearly full time nanny for their one child, Jack, nicknamed Bumby. Even with Ernest's infidelities and manic waves of writing, Hadley Richardson's love never wavered. I felt sick to my stomach when Ernest's had a mistress live in their household, and in response to Hadley opposition Ernest just said, 'There there, Hadley, we just haven't figured out how this is going to work because we've never done it before.' Still she stood by him and allowed the invasive Pauline to stay. Even years later, when their marriage crumbled her love never wavered.
McLain's pacing is just right, and she gives the reader a sense of the times and setting without over doing it. She portrays Hadley as both a loving, devoted wife while also having independent interests and her own social life. Hadley sounds progressive for her time, and someone I, like the author, wouldn't mind learning more about.
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