‘The Paris Wife’ by Paula McLain

This was a Heather’s Pick (chapters.ca). I’ve learned to trust Heather Reisman’s recommendations because I usually like the books on her list.  In preparation for this book I did some reading on Wikipedia about Ernest Hemingway and I went to Paris for a few days. Who said research has to be boring?

‘The Paris Wife’ by Paula McLain is historical fiction, telling the story of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife (first of four!). Swept away by her magnetic and intense husband and the bohemian lifestyle they would live with other creative Americans in Paris, Hadley’s story is romantic, fascinating, and heartbreaking. McLain captures the spirit of the era well and explores the relationship that this enigmatic couple had.

The author did an incredible amount of research for this book to get Hadley’s voice right. Her website is excellent, especially the Fact vs. Fiction section, the Video, and the Photo Gallery. Check it out. It is the most comprehensive author website I have ever seen and enriches the book further for me.
The Paris Wife Website

Why is it that so often those with an unusual amount of creative genius are often troubled or dysfunctional in their private lives? We find ourselves compelled and drawn to this question when we think about famous artists like Mozart, Van Gogh, and Hemingway. Paula McLain has done a great job of intriguing and informing with enough emotion and romance thrown in to make the learning effortless! One reviewer called The Paris Wife “literary tourism”. If you enjoy armchair travel, you’ll love this one!

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