Customer Reviews for

The Paris Wife

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

38 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

An enlightening, worthwhile read!

The Paris Wife is the story of Ernest Hemingway's first of four marriages. It is told from Hadley Richardson's point of view. Hadley and Hemingway were married in 1921 and gave birth to his first son, John Hadley Nicanor "Jack" Hemingway in 1923. His nickname was "Bumby...
The Paris Wife is the story of Ernest Hemingway's first of four marriages. It is told from Hadley Richardson's point of view. Hadley and Hemingway were married in 1921 and gave birth to his first son, John Hadley Nicanor "Jack" Hemingway in 1923. His nickname was "Bumby" and Mariel and Margaux Hemingway were his daughters.
This is a wonderful read that gives us a new perspective of Ernest Hemingway's genius and life. This is a characterization of a flawed man through the eyes of his young, shy, pretty first wife. The Nobel Prize winning author appreciated the stability and grounding his wife had given him and later, after three other wives said of her..."I wish I had died before I loved anyone but her. She was the best and truest and loveliest person I have ever known." Those words made me tingle all over.

posted by GEORGIAMOON on March 25, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

17 out of 83 people found this review helpful.

Just tell us if the book is good!

I'mso tired of people writing a review that tells you the whole story. People we have the overview for that! Furthermore, I do not wish to know your point of view about the story. Just tell us if you think its good or bad! Thank you!

posted by 5774388 on February 25, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Haunting and compelling

    This book had all the elements. It was beautifully written, has colorful charactors and a picturesque backdrop of a truly artististic and bohemian time in Paris. I was utterly fascinated by the story and history behind it. Must read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    Amazing

    I could not put this book down. I loved the writing style and the way the characters really came to life. The drama, the tragedy even the mundane managed to be poignant.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2011

    Boring me to tears

    I don't know if I will be able to finish this. I understand that it's about Hemingway and his first wife, but it is utterly dull. I am listening to the audio version. The narration leaves something to be desired. I don't know if I will finish it.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    The Paris Wife is a great historical fiction read. Chance are i

    The Paris Wife is a great historical fiction read. Chance are if you like historical fiction, you will enjoy reading this book. It is basically an adventure through the 1920s literary scence in Paris from Hadley's view.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    Great book.

    I really enjoyed reading this book. Since then I have started reading Hemingway novels.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2013

    highly recommended

    Hard to put down. Very interesting story on Hemingway's first wife (he had four) and what she put up with being married to him. Also includes bits about F. Scott Fitzerald and his wife, Zelda. After this book, I am more interested in reading more on the wifes of Hemingway. I read "Z" for Zelda Fitzerald following "The Paris Wife". Another, very good book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Loved it

    Great love story of the 1920's. Earnest was portrayed just as i had imagined, and she was just as jilted as i had thought she would have been. GREAT READ.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    Very interesting. Did not know much about Hemmingway before thi

    Very interesting. Did not know much about Hemmingway before this book. Found it enjoyable, would recommend to others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Entertaining

    A love story for people who dont like love stories

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    A Must Read!

    As written from Hadley's perspective I was engrossed in my reading. I felt her love, her desire, her pain and her choices. Ernest's love for her was deep but his desires could not be met with her alone...thus was the unfortunate part and his wanderings were almost from the start of their marriage. As shown that he married four times he was never satisfied, and his life was never complete as he would have wished it as told in the violent ending to his life at a young age.

    I would be interested in reading another of Paula McLain's novels and will hope to do so in the near future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    A great read!

    This book is a very good readers' group choice. Intense discussion on the personalities of Hemingway & his first wife, their relationships with family & friends, and the era of women moving forward.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I've looked forward to reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. T

    I've looked forward to reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. This carefully-researched historical fiction novel tells the story of the romance and marriage between Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, via Hadley's voice.

    I am a fan of Hemingway's writing, especially his short stories, but I didn't know much about his life prior to reading The Paris Wife. I started to feel annoyed by the narration. Phrases such as "later his parting remarks would come back to me sharply," "it was one of those domino moments," "we wouldn't look this way for long," and "that would eventually set off an entire series of events" were often placed at the end of sections, spoiling the pleasure I'd normally get from discovering the story as it unfolds. I'm sure in later chapters I would have recognized the impact of those previous scenes. I didn't like reading huge hints (in my eyes, spoilers) about what was going to happen.

    There were also times when wonderfully written interaction between characters could have stood completely on its own. In these passages, I knew that I must be feeling how Hadley must have felt. And then McLain would shatter those lovely moments she had recreated by immediately spelling out exactly what those feelings were. Just in case the reader didn't get it the first time. This interrupted the flow of the story for me. I agree with Hemingway when he says in chapter 39, "It's what I've always said about the stories, that you get by with as little explanation as possible. It's all there already or it's not. The exposition slows it and ruins it."

    However, that wasn't enough to make me give up on the book. I loved how McLain brought me into their world. The slang, the hairstyles and dress, their way of life, things they did for entertainment, their friends and acquaintances (F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and so many others); thanks to these detailed glimpses into bohemian life in 1920's Paris, I felt as if I was there. McLain captures the struggles of the post-war "Lost Generation" with gentle honesty. Hadley says in the prologue, "Not everyone believed in marriage then. To marry was to say you believe in the future and in the past, too - that history and tradition and hope could stay knit together to hold you up. But the war had come and stolen all the fine young men and our faith, too." Although Hadley and Hemingway's relationship was often tumultuous, I was struck by their love for each other and their honest attempt at marriage despite the attitudes and feelings among their peers.

    I'm glad I followed through with this book until the end, and I enjoyed much of it, but it isn't one I'd read again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2013

    This is an exceptional book.

    It is not a biography of Hemingway but a very emotional, intimate look at a part of their life at a particular time. What happens has an intense, inevitability to it. She expresses it with all the shadings real life has. I liked it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2013

    Loved this book.

    An interesting look at his early attempts at writing and the effect on his lifestyle and his choices. I believe THE PARIS WIFE was, in fact, the love of his life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2013

    Excellent book!!

    Wellwritten, and interesting. If you have seen the movie about Hemingway and Gellhorn (third wife) and more interested in hemingway's life, this is a verry good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    Not my favorite.

    Did not really like the morals and lifestyle of the people in the book. It meshed history with fiction and maybe it was just the subject matter that did not appeal to me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Interesting insight to Hemingway and Hadley

    Gives a descriptive insight to Paris and the lives of the expats living there in the 1920's. Rich prose.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2013

    Enjoyable Read!

    I really enjoyed the story of Hadley and her marriage to Hemingway. The 1920's european setting was interesting and the characters surrounding Hadley were a bit odd, which made it all the more interesting. I'd recommend it to others...and have.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2013

    Such a great book! I not only learned so much about Ernest Hemm

    Such a great book! I not only learned so much about Ernest Hemmingway and his endearing wife, Hadley, but also learned a great deal about the culture of relationships and daily life during that time. So interesting! You won't regret reading this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    Highly recommended

    I thoroughly enjoyed the intrigue and getting to know Hemmingway and his 1st wife. Also, his instability and need to win--always.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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