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Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife
Author: Paula McLain
Genre: Biographical Fiction
Publisher:  Random House Audio
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Audiobook:  11 hours and 27 minutes
Narrator: Carrington MacDuffie

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Book Description
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.
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.
A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.
I purchased this audiobook solely based on the fact that everyone has read the book.  I know another peer pressure book.  I think there are a complete mix of reviews for it and honestly I didn't read any of them at all.  
The book is written solely from the perceptive of Hadley, a young woman who soon falls in love and marries Earnest Hemmingway.  The story from what I gather is pure fiction but I had a hard time with that part.  It seemed to be based on so much fact that I had to research the book just to make sure.  
The book starts off really boring and Hadley's life before marrying Earnest seemed to be boring and depressing.  Escaping to a friends house for a few weeks changes everything and that is when the book gets better. 
I had to say this (being the liberated woman that I am) but Earnest added some excitement to her small town life.  I wish Hadley would have had a hobby or a interest besides Earnest.  Anything to keep her from being a one dimensional person.  I should say that she does play the piano but that goes to the waste side for Earnest.
Through Hadley's eye we (the readers) get to see Earnest Hemingway in a new light.  The amazing writer that everyone added to their list of Great American Writers is seen as a real person with womanizing and alcoholic demons.  
I wish there was more to Hadley and I would have loved to have the beginning be more captivatingng and exciting.     
I recommend this book for adults due to language and some sexual content.
This book is number 17 in my Audiobook Challenge.
This book is number 50 in my GoodReads Challenge.

Did you read this book? What did you think of it?

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