The Paris Wife ~~ Paula McLain

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The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures the love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness -- until she meets Ernest Hemingway. 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 Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually they 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 more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.
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About the Book
Time Period
  • 1920's-1930's
  • 20th Century


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I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book about the first Mrs. Hemingway. It's a very well-written book on its own merit, but the insight into a young Ernest Hemingway is quite wonderful. He has always been one of my Favourite authors- a big man who lived a big life on the edge. Hadley was the best of him even though they were only married for five years. The book is set in Paris in the early 1920's. The Jazz Age was in full swing and Paris was extremely exciting at that time. The book depicts the frenetic and volatile lifestyle of the "modern set" expatriates in the beautiful city of Paris during the "Roaring Twenties".
This is a gut-buster of a love story about two star-crossed lovers whose flame burns too brightly for there to be any longevity
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