Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife
by Paula McLaine
Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time—Paris in the twenties—and an extraordinary love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

In Chicago in 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 and finds herself captivated by his good looks, intensity, and passionate desire to write. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group of expatriates that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
But the hard-drinking and fast-living café life does not celebrate traditional notions of family and monogamy. As Hadley struggles with jealousy and self-doubt and Ernest wrestles with his burgeoning writing career, they must confront a deception that could prove the undoing of one of the great romances in literary history.
Review:  This book was slow for me to get into but I finally did.  The Paris Wife is a fictional story of the first wife of Ernest Hemingway.  I found it hard to like this book because Hadley (Hemingway's first wife) was such a weak woman.  She was surrounded by women in Paris who were strong albiet had loose morals and drank a lot but yet Hadley never stood up for herself and Hemingway walked all over her.  Hemingway was not a likable character either.  Perhaps in real life Hemingway was not a likable person and maybe the portrayal of him in the book was accurate.  I find it hard to like a book when I don't like the main characters.  I also greatly disliked their life style.  Again, this is probably how the "lost generation" as they called themselves lived but it was so hard to condone their activities.  I feel like the book is well written but just not a book for me.
Rating: 3 stars

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