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The Paris Wife

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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 85 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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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    BookHounds Loved It

    I was never a fan of Hemingway, but have always intrigued by his larger than life personality. Paula McLain has weaved a wondrous blend of fact and fiction to bring the story behind Hemingway's first wife and love Elizabeth Hadley Richardson. If you look at pictures of Hadley from her youth, you can see her looks very clearly in her granddaughters, Mariel and Margaux. I imagine she must have been stunning with an amazing personality and sense of humor to capture Hemingway's heart so thoroughly. McLain's theorizes these ideas fully in this fictional account of their romance based on letters, written accounts and Hemingway's story, The Sun Also Rises, based on his own experiences.

    This book is for anyone looking to revisit The Cafe Society in Paris during the 1920's. I got the feeling that while Hadley loved her husband dearly, she didn't really fit in with Cafe society since the lax morals didn't suit her upbringing. It is fascinating to read how she dealt with Hemingway's affairs and the fact that he brought his soon to be mistress, Pauline, into his home life. Hemingway must have been like a rock start in that world. It must have been amazing to live through such a time period.

    I am such a huge fan of books like this, that take fact and work out the details so a story can unfold. It reminded me of Loving Frank by Nancy Horan which I adored. It even makes me want to go back and reread Hemingway's work. Of course, this story couldn't have been written without the famous characters and it is a fascinating romantic tale. I received this book from the publisher at no expense in exchange for my honest review.

    26 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2010

    Compelling read: a literary time machine

    Paula McLain takes her reader on a voyeuristic journey into the dispair that haunted Hemingway. Through the voice of his first wife, Hadley,she shares the dark side of the much glorified bohemian lifestyle of American expatriates in Paris during the 1920s.

    McLain's writing has a beautiful simplicity. She creates for her reader a sense that she is Hadley and The Paris Wife is her memoir.

    18 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    An Engaging Novel

    I liked The Paris Wife. It kept me reading and interested. It kept me questioning the characters as to what was fiction vs reality. We read this book for book club, and I feel we will have a lot to discuss. Hemingway was a difficult man. His self centeredness effected his relationships and thus he lost many a friend and lover. I would definitely recommend this book.

    16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    The Paris Wife

    This allegorical novel uses rhe characters and events in the life of Hemmingway. The story has multiple levels for portrayal of the human condition. This is a very well crafted story of a couple loosing their interpersonal connection during the career building of the writer. However at a deeper level the seven deadly sins are showen to be the root of evil in the life of the writer. He sucumbs to all of them destroying himself in the process. Very well done indeed! Reread the Sun Also Rises as a companion to this book.

    2 out of 2 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 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

    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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  • 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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  • Posted January 22, 2013

    Informative, a must read

    This was an interesting and informative read. I knew so little of his first wife and his early years. This was great and once you got into the book you just wanted to keep reading because it was unbelievable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I loved this book. As I read it I found myself swept up in the

    I loved this book. As I read it I found myself swept up in the bittersweet years between the unspeakable European wars, hanging out in Paris with the damaged expatriate artists, drowning in booze, romance and despair. It kept me up late two nights in a row. Now I'm ready to re-read "The Sun Also Rises" and "A Moveable Feast".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    Pretty Entertaining

    Just felt like the end was rushed

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    An interesting read

    Introspective, probably a lot of truth to it. It read like nonfiction and was a good timepiece of Hemingway's life. Good for a book club as there is lots to discuss about the time period and the role of women in society at the time, social mores, etc.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent read

    You have to keep in mind that this is fiction. It's a very insightful take on Ernest Hemingway's first wife. Paula McLain depicted a very down-to-earth, sympathetic character in Hadley Hemingway, who seemed not to quite fit in with The Cafe Society in 1920s Paris. It left me wanting to know more about the literary and artistic greats and their excessive and dramatic lives, reinforced my opinion of Hemingway as a charismatic and rather abrasive, selfish man who could lived and wrote about life in all its ferocity and beauty. I'm surprised Hadley made it as far as she did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great read

    Paula McLain does a good job of taking you to 1920s Paris and into the cafes and flats of some of our illustrious and provocative literary figures. Hadley is a bit removed from the action and find myself wanting to follow Ernest and F. Scott to find the tragic beauty they captured of the time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2012

    Wonderful! A must read!

    I thought this was a wonderful book that was picked by my bookclub. The descriptions of paris, pompelona (with the bull fighting) and other places that the Hemingway's traveled to were so vivid and well written.

    My only negative was all the names of all the couples, the poets, the writers etc. It seemed too much and I soon became a little overwhelmed with who was whom since a lot of pet names were used. It became a little distracting and almost annoying. At times, there were so many names that it almost seemed as if Mrs. Hemingway was name dropping to just impress but I felt like the author was doing it and not really mrs. hemingway.

    I would recommend this book!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    Enjoyed it

    Great story

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2012

    Good Read

    Good book...really enjoyed it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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