Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness, until she meets Ernest Hemingway. After a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they soon fall in with a circle of lively and volatile expatriates, including F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound. ...Read MoreChicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness, until she meets Ernest Hemingway. After a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they soon fall in with a circle of lively and volatile expatriates, including F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound. Ernest and Hadley are thrust into a life of artistic ambition, hard liquor and spur-of-the-moment dashes to Pamplona, the Riviera and the Swiss Alps. But Jazz Age Paris does not lend itself to family life and fidelity. As Hadley struggles with jealousy and self-doubt, Ernest's ferocious literary endeavours begin to bear fruit, and the couple faces the ultimate crisis of their marriage - a deception that will lead to the unravelling of everything they made for themselves in Paris, their 'great good place'.Read Less
I really enjoyed the book, but I am not sure I believed all of it. How, for instance, were the two of them able to travel so much and drink so much and hire a caretaker for the baby without either one working?
May 16, 2013
Hemingway fans - don't miss this!
A fictionalized account of Hemingway's first marriage and their life in Paris just before he hit it big. Fascinating! Read A Moveable Feast and compare.
Mary H N
Feb 15, 2013
I am only 200 pages through the book, but I am enjoying it a lot. It reminds me of the movie "Midnight in Paris".
Aug 23, 2012
Not a page turner
This book was a good read, but not all that well written or a page turner. I knew most of what McLain wrote already, but still some interesting facts. I would recommend it to those who have not read much about Hemingway.
Jul 19, 2012
"The Paris Wife"
If you're interested in Hemingway, especially his Paris years, this is a fascinating read.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-05-02 McLain's novel covers the marriage of Hadley Richardson and Ernest Hemingway, from their romantic, early years in Paris-where they slow danced to the sounds of the accordion drifting up from the apartment below, lunched with Gertrude Stein, and had cocktails with the Fitzgeralds-to their marriage growing more complicated as Ernest's literary career takes off. Carrington Macduffie's voice for Ernest is harsh and guttural, which makes him sound less charismatic and makes it difficult for the listener to understand why Hadley puts up with him as long as she does. Macduffie's voice for Hadley is stilted and timid at first-Hadley is perpetually fumbling for the right word, but she gradually sounds increasingly self-assured. Macduffie's ability to communicate Hadley's transformation vocally makes for moving listening. A Ballantine hardcover. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2010-12-06 McLain (A Ticket to Ride) offers a vivid addition to the complex-woman-behind-the-legendary-man genre, bringing Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, to life. Meeting through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is intrigued by the brash "beautiful boy," and after a brief courtship and small wedding, Hadley and Ernest take off for Paris, "the place to be," according to Sherwood Anderson. McLain ably portrays the cultural icons of the 1920s-Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, and Ezra and Dorothy Pound-and the impact they have on the then unknown Hemingway, casting Hadley as a rock of Gibraltar for a troubled man whose brilliance and talent were charged and compromised by his astounding capacity for alcohol and women. Hadley, meanwhile, makes a convincing transformation from an overprotected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with impoverished living conditions and shattering loneliness to prop up her husband's career. The historical figure cameos sometimes come across as gimmicky, but the heart of the story-Ernest and Hadley's relationship-gets an honest reckoning, most notably the waves of elation and despair that pull them apart. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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