Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Paris Wife

The Paris WifeThe Paris Wife by Paula McLain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For me reading this account of Ernest Hemingway's life in Paris with his 1st wife Hadley was fascinating. Although a fiction story you can imagine that their life is just like Paula McLain suggests to us. Full of other famous "lost' people such as Gertrude Stein, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Through Hadley's eyes we see the deep depression Hemingway suffered through and his struggle to find his voice. But we also see a young woman discovering herself. We watch Hadley struggling to survive as Hemingway’s wife, finding her own independence as a wife and mother. You almost feel like a voyeur spying on the intimate life of strangers. And even though you know how the story will end (no happily ever for these two) you enjoy the journey the book takes you on in another time.

I am long time fan of Ernest Hemingway’s books. I fell in love with his writing as a teenager and every few years I get a desire to reread his books. I think it was something about the tortured lost sole that came across in his characters that I found so appealing. Maybe it was because I identify with the 1920s time era. Not just the idea Flappers and “all that Jazz”, I relate to the generation of people searching for something and unsure where to find it. I love the fashion, music and literary writings that emerged during that time. What ever it was I really enjoyed this book so much so that I hated to put it down.

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