Review: The Paris Wife, Paula McLain

The Paris Wife, Paula McLain
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 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 more 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.

Paula McLain received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996, and has since been a writer-in-residence at Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, and The Ucross Foundation Residency Program, and received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. Individual poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including the Gettysburg Review, Antioch Review, and The New York Times Sunday Magazine. As well as teaching part-time at John Carroll University, she is a core faculty member in the low-residency MFA Program in Poetry at New England College

I have had this book on my e-reader for over a year. I bought it in a sale because of the pretty cover combined with the interesting setting of Paris in the 20's.
The first fifty pages do not really pull me in though. I do not really connect with Hadley. I do not understand her motives and am not really sure if she is honest. This did not get better in the rest of the book. Both Hemingway's and Hadley's decisions and actions did not feel realistic with the thoughts they where having. I did finish the book. I read Z by Theresa Anne Fowler right before and was curious how the situations described in that book would work out in this one as the stories touch at some point. I am not sure if I would have continued reading if that was not the case. Still it is clear that the book has been thoroughly researched.

The Paris Wife
Author: Paula McClain
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 329
Format: eBook
ISBN-10: 0345521323
ISBN-13: 9780345521323
Ballantine Books: eBook | Hardcover | Audiobook
The Paris Wife

3 stars

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Melinda
AUTHOR
21 January, 2014 delete

Wow! I have had this on my kindle for a long time too. Sorry to hear that you didn't particularly enjoy this book. I've seen many good reviews and I was considering to read this soon. I will though and let you know my thoughts (of course). I am less excited for it now...

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21 January, 2014 delete

I am not sure if it was the combination with Z by Therese Anne Fowler that I read right before. I see a lot of people who first read the Paris Wife and Z after reacting the other way around. They love this one. If you have it it is enjoyable enough to give it a go.

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21 January, 2014 delete

I loved this one and am surprised at your reaction. I thought Hadley's perspective was interesting and sympathetic. But you're totally entitled to your opinion!

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21 January, 2014 delete

I really enjoyed this book, but I haven't read Z or anything similar to it before.

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Jennine G.
AUTHOR
22 January, 2014 delete

I read Z and loved it...hated Hemingway in Z though. He was rather a jerk in real life from what I gather. I'm excited to read this one because I want to see how it makes me feel about Hemingway in comparison to other books I've read.

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22 January, 2014 delete

This book just made me dislike Hemingway LOL

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Lianne
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25 January, 2014 delete

Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this novel as much! This novel was my first foray--sort of--into Hemingway's life. I had always heard of him but I never read any of his books so I really liked this novel.

Have yet to read Z though! Been hearing good things about it :D

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