Saturday, July 16, 2011



The Paris Wife is an engrossing, romantic and ultimately heartbreaking, fictional account of Ernest Hemingway's marriage to Hadley Richardson. Told through the narrative voice of Hadley we see through her eyes the twenty one year old Ernest. On the cusp of success and feeling extremely limited Ernest is planning his escape to Paris, In the early 1920's Paris was the hub for some of the most talented, controversial and talented artists and writers.

I really bonded with Hadley in this read. her unflinching love of Ernest and support for his work is a foundation from which Ernest can produce his great works. Paris of the 20's is also a major character in this book. Like moths to flame Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and the couple F.Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, come into Ernest and Hadley's life.

Though the majority of the narrative is from Hadley's views McClain has several passages through Ernest's point of view that add insight to his psyche and resonates painfully due to the bond the reader forms with Hadley.

with all that Hadley sees Ernest through it is his infidelity that brings her the most pain and wakes her to a painful choice that will change both their lives.

This novel is a wonderful fictional narrative. McClain's research is evident as well as her own personal writing style and attention to the political and emotional current of the times.

A perfect summer read a novel that will sweep you away and really spur you to read more about Hemingway's work and his legacy.


1 comment:

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

Great review, Kai. I've been seeing this one around a lot and I think I'm going to put it on my list. I've always been kind of intrigued by Ernest Hemingway.