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The Paris Wife made me remember why I love historical fiction so much McLain not only captures the atmosphere, but she does it with striking prose I was not surprised to learn she d published a book of poetry prior to this I just finished this book and I m a little overwhelmed by it, but I ll do my best to form coherent thoughts First of all, I cannot stress enough what an amazing job the author did of capturing the atmosphere of post war Paris Not that I was there to experience it, but after reading this book, I feel like I was Like I walked the streets, participated in the extravagance, the decadence, the debauchery, the fashions and fads of the time, the whiskey and wine, the cigarettes and smoke, the poverty and claustrophobia The atmosphere of the book itself is enough to make me love it And the fact that it s about a writer only made me adore it It made me want to be there, to throw myself into their world, to smoke and drink and ski and go fishing and fall in love and write a novel The only thing it did not make me want to do was go to a bullfight, but that s only because I did not enjoy that experience myself If I d never been to one, I certainly would want to after reading McLain s novel.Aside from the atmosphere, McLain also captures the personalities of her characters so well I felt like I was Hadley while I read it Her parts were so alive, so aching and beautiful Hemingway s few sections were also wonderful, confused and tortured and with a quite distinct voice from his wife s Even though I knew what was coming, I still held on with Hadley and ached for her, cried for her a few times, loved with her Because who hasn t loved that man who is so wrong for you, but so swooningly right There were a few parts where it went so far I just cringed, too horrified to look but unable to stop view spoiler Like the part where the other woman gets in bed with them and Hadley just lies there while her husband makes love to his mistress hide spoiler Dear Hadley Richardson,I will admit that having just finished this historical novel about your marriage to Ernest Hemingway, I have now googled you and read a wikipedia article about your life I am happy to read that you apparently lived happily ever after with your second husband out of the limelight, and died an old woman at the age of 87.But I just have to say, Hadley, when you were asleep naked in bed with your husband Ernest, and Pauline crawled into his side of the bed with him, why in the hell did you pretend to be asleep What is the hell were you thinking, Hadley You cooked your own goose with your reaction at that moment Your marriage was done, right then and there.As I said though, I am happy you escaped and found happiness away from all the madness that was Ernest Hemingway May your final years have been peaceful, with your years in Paris just crazy memories I hope the royalties from The Sun Also Rises were beneficial to you.Best Regards, and may you rest in peace. I ve never been a fan of fictionalized works of authors lives, and the fact that The Paris Wife recounts my favourite author s life during the writing of my favourite book of all time, The Sun Also Rises, antagonized the hell out of me It didn t bode well But I promised my sister I d give it a go she wanted me to read it because we d just read A Moveable Feast together, and she sent me the hardcover that she d read for a recent book club I couldn t say no.Then, straight away, Paula McLain pissed me off with some of her early writing in the book They pulled me out of the immersion I prefer to give myself over to when I read I would just start to lose myself in Hadley s Chicago, or Hemingway s Michigan cabin, and she d do something inauthentic to break the spell Things were getting worse.Later on, my own personal feelings, connected to a long dead relationship of my own, a relationship I always thought of in terms of Hadley and Ernest, yanked me out of my immersion not once or twice but many times and I would be forced to take a break and try to immerse myself all over again But I blamed myself and tried not to let my attitude spill onto McLain.Around the same time, some clever moments marrying Papa s fictional writing with his real world were appearing, which had to be McLain s fault, and I asked myself Why do we even need books like this If a book is just retelling the stories another author already told so well, fictional or autobiographical, surely a fiction that retells these already told tales is superfluous The answer, I must admit, took me by surprise and changed my relationship with The Paris Wife We need books like this because sometimes the finest stories are the ones we already know told from another direction by someone who loves the original stories and people just as much as we do It seems obvious to me now, as I write it, but it wasn t at all obvious to me while I was reading.It is beautiful the way McLain loves her subjects She is fair to them all She understands them in her own way, a way new and compelling to me, and she overcame all my prejudices, eventually suspending me in my immersion despite herself and her source material and me I wanted to hate this book I set out to destroy it and tear it apart I wanted to come on here and thrash it and Paula McLain But I can t I think this book is something special And it will take its place on the right hand side of my Hemingway shelf, just this side of the biographies, and the Michael Palin Hemingway books McLain s earned it.Always read with a mind willing to open itself even when you find it difficult to open your mind from the start You never know what joys you ll find. ARC won on Goodreads GiveawayMaybe a reader has to be a Hemingway fan to enjoy this book, but I ve sometimes found the artist interesting even if I don t give a fig for their art Sometimes an author has even given me a new appreciation for someone I was previously ambivalent about This didn t happen here, and I found the prose so flat and uninvolving that I bailed on page 207 It didn t seem worth the time and effort to continue.It s a straightforward novelization of Hadley Hemingway s life with Ernest Too straightforward Most of the time, the research seems to dominate the storytelling, as if the author loves the subject so much that not a detail must be spared It just felt a bit tedious to be told that Ernest reported for work in Toronto on September 10, and they heard on September 14 that Smyrna was burning in the Greco Turkish war There was too much of obsessing with Who said what, and where that the actual people in the story had all the dimension of a Wiki article I didn t know what Hadley looked like who can keep track of all those wives , and it s not until quite a ways into the book that we re told of her facial features and hairstyle It s as if the author assumes the reader is already right there beside her in the Hemingway knowledge and love A paragraph about Hadley looking at the meats and vegetables at a Paris market is but an example of this saturation of minutae about the Hemingways and their travels and experiences Riveting no doubt to a rabid fan, but for the casual reader, yawn.There s lots of cameos by other Lost Generation members, but they have all the substance of cameos I dunno, I think I d much rather read non fiction about somebody than a dull novel that reads like somebody took a biography and added dialogue to it And that s what this one felt like So I d recommend it for the Hemingway fan who wants to read a book with moments where they can exclaim, They ve moved to Paris Yay, we re at the part where Ernest and Gertrude Stein are falling out Oh, and now they re meeting F Scott and Zelda Fine book for those who like that, but not for me I m not sure this is strict literary fiction, literary crush fiction And I like my historical fiction to be meaty than thisAlso, there are mega typos in this ARC They d better clean that up It s Bach and Haydn, not Hayden ( DOWNLOAD EPUB ) ♡ The Paris Wife ☩ A Deeply Evocative Story Of Ambition And Betrayal, The Paris Wife Captures A Remarkable Period Of Time And A Love Affair Between Two Unforgettable People Ernest Hemingway And His Wife Hadley Chicago, 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 Her Life Changes Forever Following A Whirlwind Courtship And Wedding, The Pair Set Sail For Paris, Where They Become The Golden Couple In A Lively And Volatile Group The Fabled Lost Generation That Includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, And F Scott And Zelda Fitzgerald Though Deeply In Love, The Hemingways Are Ill Prepared For The Hard Drinking And Fast Living Life Of Jazz Age Paris, Which Hardly Values Traditional Notions Of Family And Monogamy Surrounded By Beautiful Women And Competing Egos, Ernest Struggles To Find The Voice That Will Earn Him A Place In History, Pouring All The Richness And Intensity Of His Life With Hadley And Their Circle Of Friends Into The Novel That Will Become The Sun Also Rises Hadley, Meanwhile, Strives To Hold On To Her Sense Of Self As The Demands Of Life With Ernest Grow Costly And Her Roles As Wife, Friend, And Muse Become Challenging Despite Their Extraordinary Bond, They Eventually Find Themselves Facing The Ultimate Crisis Of Their Marriage A Deception That Will Lead To The Unraveling Of Everything They Ve Fought So Hard For A Heartbreaking Portrayal Of Love And Torn Loyalty, The Paris Wife Is All The Poignant Because We Know That, In The End, Hemingway Wrote That He Would Rather Have Died Than Fallen In Love With Anyone But Hadley I was in Grade 8 at school when I read The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway I also read the other few of his books that were on the shelf We didn t have a library in our school the bookshelves lined the back wall of the classroom, and when I close my eyes I can see the shelf where his books lined up The writing was amazing and I was completely captivated by the stories I also remember seeing photographs of the grizzly author with his white hair and beard, wearing glasses and a very serious expression on his face, and I remember feeling so sad because his genius was so short lived.Reading The Paris Wife resurrected many of my feelings from so long ago and these were overlaid by the sadness in reading about the first early marriage between Ernest Hemingway and Elizabeth Hadley Richardson that was derailed so soon A marriage where both people complemented each other and brought out the best in each other and yet human frailty broke down that strong bond This book describes and walks us through the fragility of this relationship from its first days through to its last.We also discover that Hemingway regretted not staying with Hadley, a fact that he wrote in his Memoir So many regrets, so much sadness and yet during the Paris years, there was a great deal of happiness as well It was a time of wild creativity, where writers and artists were breaking free of all structures and generating new ways of seeing and saying With the aid of absinthe illegal, even in Paris , opium, cocaine, and always, always alcohol there was a mad rush to reach deeper and deeper into the abyss without falling in completely Not everyone partook in all substances, but there was definitely an element of self immolation present in the creative world of the day that helped to generate mayhem in the majority of relationships.Hemingway, young as he was at the time, was influenced by all of it He and Hadley were friends with, and or part of the same crowd as such notables as Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas, James Joyce, and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Ezra Pound was an influence and interestingly, his wife s last name was Shakespear According to family lore they were related to the Bard, even without the e at the end of their name There were poets, literary writers, journalists and painters They met Ford Madox Ford and John Dos Passos and everyone seemed intent on outdoing each other with changing partners, having mistresses, and wreaking emotional havoc in their lives Perhaps it was all part of the same drive to explore the bottom of the well, but it was very hard on the few people like Hadley who longed for stability in their emotional life.This is a very well written and extensively researched fictional depiction of the Hemingway Richardson years in Paris The author was able to tap into the thoughts and feelings of both people and present us with believable, real people So real that at times I forgot completely that these events all happened so long ago At one point I was so immersed in the story that in my head I was strongly cautioning Hemingway well, yelling at him in my head, really Do not do that don t go there or you will be sorry This book was beautifully and conveniently annotated with 156 pages of extras that also grabbed my interest It also stirred in me the desire to re read the Hemingway books I read when I was young and to fill in the gaps with those I missed Paris Wife is writing of the finest caliber the kind that creates the atmosphere and thoughts and feelings of the characters in such a tangible way that when the book is finished, part of you is still there in Paris with Hemingway and Hadley and their crowd excitedly discussing books and writing and art. In the Paris Wife, Paula McLain evokes a fascinating history of Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, much of it during their time in Paris when Hemingway was struggling to find the voice which would catapult him to literary success As interested as I was, I alternated between fascination and flinching While I ve spent many hours reading novels by Ernest Hemingway, did I really want to be in the bedroom with Hemingway and Hadley Or, as his first marriage fell apart, did I want to be in the bedroom with Hemingway and Pauline Showing Hadley trying to get inside Hemingway s head especially his depression wasn t something which worked for me either On the other hand, McLain incorporates Hemingway scholarship and recreates the times in ways which recommend this book It was also interesting to learn about Hadley However, the personal details made me feel a little squeamish about the endeavor. 3 stars only because I didn t know much about them, so I learned some things.To me, this book felt flat.Like a travel diary with lots of name dropping.We went , we met I didn t really feel for Hadley.I didn t really feel for young Ernest.She lost him to another woman.She was better off anyway.Favorite In the epilogue, Hadley, who s moved on with her life, described him as an enigma fine and strong and weak and cruel An incomparable friend and a Sonofabitch. The PARIS WIFE is a mesmerizing novel about Paris in the 1920 s featuring the bohemian Lost Generation It is the touching and heartbreaking story of the love affair and marriage of literature s original bad boy Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson Hemingway.Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding , the deeply in love couple sail to Paris where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.The Hemingway s are ill prepared for the hard drinking, fast living life of Jazz Age Paris They are surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos Written in Hadley s voice that is so well drawn and lyrical it manages to captures the spectacle of the man becoming the legend She draws the twenty year old Hemingway as a handsome, magnetic, passionate, sensitive man full of dreams.This portrayal of their marriage is so tender, so poignant that is an utterly absorbing novel. This one just wasn t really my cup of tea The beginning was alright, but after Hadley and Ernest get married I lost interest I really had an issue with Hadley s character and I wasn t sympathetic towards her at all She was such a whiny pushover Now that I think about it I don t know if she was just a product of the times old fashioned and hell bent on staying married even though your husband is a complete prick or just really that pathetic Ernest was sort of a self absorbed, vain, asshole who was a terrible husband too, so I didn t get a warm fuzzy feeling about either of the protagonists for that matter I kept waiting for Hadley to find her voice and start sticking up for herself or at least loose her temper and yell Particularly when she finds out her best friend is sleeping with her husband and this so called friend acts as if nothing is wrong I knew that Hadley and Ernest eventually get a divorce and of his suicide so the ending was of no shock to me Certainly not a very happy ending I don t think you have to be a Hemingway fan to read this one, however I do feel I would have gotten from the story had I read The Sun Also Rises mentioned several times in the book or A Moveable Feast supposedly roughly based on Hemingway s first marriage All in all I felt as though The Paris Wife was a boring but very well written novel.