Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Paris Wife - Six Word Sum Up


Paradise is lost when you stop believing.

"The Paris Wife" is probably the best book I will have read this year. I was expecting a love story, but what a love story that was. One between the mighty Ernest Hemingway, just before he became famous and Elizabeth Hadley Hemingway, his first wife. Hadley recounts the years she spent married with Hem, from the first year when he was struggling to finish his first stories and up to the end, when he almost finished "The Sun also Rises" (which he dedicated to Hadley and their son, Bumby).
Eight years older than Hemingway, Hadley dedicates her life to become a supportive wife, while they spend most of their marriage in Paris, befriending Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound or Zelda and F. S. Fitzgerald.
Paula Mclain portraits the couple as a single being, with identical haircuts and nicknames, each one calling the other "Tatie", they ski and drink together, but one day Ernest meets Pauline, whom he seduces in front of Hadley and who will become his second wife.
Although it may seem like a simple love story, filled with betrayal, it is not just that. It is a love story that scares you forever, since Hemingway, married for the fourth time, will write in  his memoir "A Movable Feast" that "I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her."

You can find an interview with the author about this book here.

Read for Paris is July and  New Authors Reading Challenges. 

6 comments:

Corri said...

Also scary that wives / women took for granted that they would devote their lives to being a dutiful wife....

Ally said...

Yes, too much love spoils all other future plans :)

thesirenstale said...

Oooh this book sounds so good! It's on my TBR list, but after reading your review I think I will read it next :)

Ally said...

Caitlin, thank you for visiting :) It is truly a book you will not forget very soon :) Looking forward to your review :)

Bellezza said...

This book wass quite powerful to me in the way that it reintroduced me to Hemingway, in a way that I could finally appreciate. After reading The Paris Wife, I went on to as many Hemingway novels as I could. I especially loved Across The River and Into The Trees, set in Italy, which is so little spoken of. You may like it, as it's a wonderful story about an older General and his young lady love. So romantic!

Ally said...

I was thinking just the same, Meredith! I have A Movable Feast on my wishlist :)