#8 The Paris Wife by Paula McLain Review

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.
Firstly, I’d like to say that I’m not sure how accurate this is as a portrayal of Ernest Hemingway & Hadley Richardson’s marriage as I’m not exactly an Ernest Hemingway historian, nor have I read any of his books. I did however enjoy it very much.

I’ve had this book on my shelf since my birthday in March, I had picked it up in Waterstones about a month prior to this (being automatically attracted to any book with Paris in it’s title) and after reading the back I decided it would be something I wanted to read. However I have been put off by the fact I was worried it would be a difficult read, since having my daughter I’ve avoided anything that would mentally strain me too much because I seem to be constantly tired. I tend to only read in the bath or when I can’t sleep so I’ve been suckered into reading all the trash of the day. When I did finally pick it up and start to read it last week, I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was to read.

The book is written in Hadley’s voice and instantly she seemed like someone I could connect to (my favourite books are those written in a narrative I can connect to). She described her life and the beginning of her relationship with Ernest in such a way you couldn’t help but love both her and Hemingway, he seemed like the classic romantic hero and you could understand why she was willing to marry him after only a few months and follow him to Paris. The book continues right through the ups and downs of their whole relationship (of course I won’t tell you what happens because I don’t what to ruin the book for you all!) I loved the descriptions of Bohemian Paris and even though I did know how the book would end (I did know what happened to Hadley and Ernest’s relationship and since the book is based on fact it was inevitable, much like the sinking of the Titanic in all the fiction about it) I couldn’t help but still feel shock and sadness when it happened.

My only criticism was that every now and then there would be a few pages from Ernest’s point of view. Of course I could see what the author had done this but I just felt it ruined the whole flow of the book.

And of course, my favourite quote

“We called Paris the great good place, then, and it was. We invented it after all. We made it with out longing and cigarettes and Rhum St. James,; we made it with smoke and smart and savage conversation and we dared anyone to say it wasn’t ours. Together we made everything and then we busted it apart again.”

If I wasn’t spending time being a mother I could of probably sat and read this in a day or two. It’s very easy to read and in my opinion enjoyable, so much so I have another book by the same author now on my Amazon wishlist.

Now readingThe Color Purple by Alice Walker

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