Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Review: The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

McLain tells the story of Ernest Hemingway in The Paris Wife. Well, part of his story anyway. Specifically, the beginning of his journey to become the famous writer we all know. It's a story of love, ambition and betrayal. And it's told from the perspective of Hemingway's first wife Hadley, and we see her struggles to love a man like Hemingway while maintaining her sense of self.

The pair make an odd match. Hemingway, the young, promising writer with his intensity, ambition and egotism and Hadley, the spinster with her conservativeness and sensibility. I was whisked away into the story of their whirlwind love affair and eventual and inevitable falling apart of their marriage.

It was the 1920s in Paris, the era of jazz and heavy drinking, and the circle of famous literary writers Ernest and Hadley ran in had all sorts of progressive relationships: open marriage, living with mistresses and provocative lifestyles.

I know many loved this book. I liked it. I definitely found learning about Hemingway, especially as a young adult when he was trying to get his big break as a novelist, incredibly fascinating. But the end of the book with the other woman when their marriage disintegrates was difficult to read. It's definitely an emotional ending.

If you like books that tell a story you didn't know about a famous person or if you are a fan of Hemingway and want to learn more about the man behind the genius, read this book.

Next month - Thunder and Rain by Charles Martin

Disclosure: No one paid me in any way, form or fashion for this review.

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