The Paris Wife was a given that I had to feature on my blog’s Paris month. I had the pleasure of meeting Paula McLain at the Random House Blogger Lovefest party back in February and have been anxiously waiting closer to April to read this highly anticipated book of mine.
There are numerous international covers available if you search “The Paris Wife” on Book Depository, which I love and want all the versions of! (Hence the inspiration for this book’s entry in my Book Cover Styling tumblr)
Also, if you missed it earlier in the month, be sure to check out my interview with the author, Paula McLain!
Hadley first met Ernest Hemingway at a friend’s party when he was just a young budding writer. A whirlwind courtship began and they soon found themselves living the life in Paris, surrounded by fellow writers and mentors. As Ernest works hard to make a name for himself, he stops at nothing to gain that success – regardless of the bridges he burns and the people he hurts.
Whether you know much about the man himself, Ernest Hemingway is a household name. However, fewer people know about Hadley Richardson, and McLain does a great job of shedding light to this woman who was not only a wife but a muse to the famous writer. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about either of these characters, so The Paris Wife allowed me to get to know both of them. With no preconceived notions of what Hemingway was like, I found this factual/fictional account to be quite eye-opening. As the saying goes, there’s always two sides to every story. My lack of prior knowledge of Hemingway may have hindered some aspects of the story, where I might not have grasped the significance of the people or the moment in the scene, but I merely looked at it as part of the overall picture.
McLain’s writing is eloquent and beautiful, a fitting narrative for the time period and setting for this novel. She tells a strong tale of young unrequited love developing into the later bickering married life. Even though I gathered what the end result of the story would be, the journey that lead to that point is all together satisfying. You feel, as the reader, that you’re growing with this young woman as she comes into her own and seeing the world through her eyes. You experience her joys and anguishes, her trials and tribulations; seemingly all from the vantage point of her memoir.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5 stars)
The Paris Wife is currently available in stores