Most people are familiar with Ernest Hemingway’s works of fiction, but many don’t know much about the man behind the stories. Hemingway was married a total of four times throughout his life. According to many biographies, his first wife, Hadley, was the only one that he truly loved. The Paris Wife tells Ernest and Hadley’s story from beginning to end in first person from Hadley’s point of view.
Mclain weaves her story from researching biographies, letters, and personal accounts of Hemingway’s life. She recounts tales from the couple’s move to Paris, France in the 1920s during the era of the Left Bank artists. The reader gets Hadley’s perspective of many of the famous artists and writers of the era including Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The reader also gets a glance of one of Hemingway’s favorite pastimes at the bullfights in Pamplona, Spain which goes on to be a back drop of one of his first novels.
The romance between Hadley and Ernest gradually begins to fade as Ernest gains popularity for many of his short stories and novels. Hadley struggles with her self-esteem seem to grow even larger, and Ernest’s sudden interest of a new woman in his life that eventually becomes his mistress. Hadley eventually decides to give Ernest a divorce that allows him to marry his mistress. However by many accounts, this was one of Ernest’s greatest regrets in life.
Mclain weaves a beautiful fictitious picture of the marriage of Ernest and Hadley, including many true stories from their time together. While the characters can be confusing sometimes due to so many nicknames, the story still flows effortlessly.
This title is available as a book discussion kit.
Formats Available: Book (both Large Type and Regular Type), eBook, Audiobook (CD), Book Discussion Kit
Reviewed by Sara, Okolona Branch