Book Review: The Paris Wife

With two babies in the house I am finding that I am reading a lot more than getting out of the house lately. Packing two kids up in car seats and trying to work around sleeping schedules is really just a lot of work. Honestly it’s just so much easier to stay home. I’ve never been a “homebody” but I certainly feel like I’m turning into one. I’ve decided to share with you some books I’ve been reading lately.

A simple warning:
I have no background in literature, reading, or writing so don’t keep your expectations too high.
The Paris Wife

With that said here’s my review on The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.

Ernest Hemingway, wow I had no idea the life he led! What a poor disturbed soul! What a sweetheart his first wife, Hadley, was. Before reading this book I didn’t know anything about Hemingway’s life. I was not aware that he was married 4 times. I was not aware that he lived in Paris. I only knew his name and that was about it.

Aside from anything having to do with Hemingway I must admit this book was very pleasant to read. The author has an amazing style that makes you feel like you are living life alongside the characters. Her descriptive words help you experience life in Paris almost 100 years ago.

For example:

“The cobblestone street climbed and wound up from the Seine near Point Sully and ended at the Place de la Contrescarpe, a square that stank of the drunks spilling out of the bistros or sleeping in doorways. You’d see an enormous clump of rags and then the clump would move and you’d realize this was some poor soul sleeping it off. Up and down the narrow streets around the square, the coal peddlers sang and shouldered their filthy sacks of boulets. Ernest loved the place at first sight; I was homesick and disappointed.”

The book is mostly from Hadley’s perspective with a little bit of Hemingway’s thrown in. I grew to love Hadley and was heart broken at the things that she went through being married to Hemingway. The story starts off in Chicago where they met. After getting married they moved to Paris for Hemingway to write. Their relationship was ideal. Two young love birds whom their friends admired greatly. It was ideal until Hemingway basically got bored of Hadley and decided to follow the “ways of the world”. Bless Hadley’s heart for sticking by his side as long as she did.

My favorite part of this book was reading about the trips they would go on. Traveling back then was much simpler than it is today. I enjoyed reading about their ski trips and their trips to watch the running of the bulls. I enjoyed reading about how different life was, but yet how much the same it is. As I already mentioned, I was not impressed with Hemingway. I am glad I got to know about him a little more through this book, but I have even less of an interest in reading anything he wrote. Call me naive if you will. I’m okay with that.

I do love historical fiction. I don’t always put it at the top of my reading lists, but I never regret reading it For someone like me it’s the perfect way to learn about history and historical figures. I do recommend reading this book if you are interested in Hemingway, life in Paris in the 20’s, or you just need something new to read.

I’m currently reading:
Shogun by James Clavell (will be reading this forever)
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Innocent by David Baldacci (listening on audio tape)
The Maze runner by James Dashner



2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Paris Wife

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