Monday, April 18, 2011

The Paris Wife

by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife is a narrative of the first marriage of Ernest Hemingway to Hadley Richardson as told from her perspective. This unlikely pair lived a jet-set life in Paris during the 1920's when it seems everyone who was anyone appeared on the scene there. Writers and artists were the celebrities of the day and lived the wild lives we read about in the tabloids today.

Ms. McLain portrays Hadley as a misfit among this crowd who struggles with self esteem, confidence and backbone. Hadley gets into this marriage determined to support Hemingway as he launches into his writing career and then she watches helplessly as their relationship disintegrates and Ernest finds other love interests. Hadley's position and lifestyle is nothing I can relate to but it is a well written and interesting fictionalized biographical account of these Paris years. I guess I now should read A Movable Feast to see this time from Hemingway's own perspective.

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