The Paris Wife was only the beginning of the story...
Paula McLain's New York Times bestselling novel piqued readers' interest about Ernest Hemingway's romantic life. But Hadley was only one of four women married, in turn, to the legendary writer. Just as T.C. Boyle's bestseller The Women completed the picture begun by Nancy Horan's Loving Frank, Naomi Wood's Mrs. Hemingway tells the story of how it was to love, and be loved by, the most famous and dashing writer of his generation. Hadley, Pauline, Martha and Mary: each Mrs. Hemingway thought their love would last forever; each one was wrong.
Told in four parts and based on real love letters and telegrams, Mrs. Hemingway reveals the explosive love triangles that wrecked each of Hemingway's marriages. Spanning 1920s bohemian Paris through 1960s Cold War America, populated with members of the fabled "Lost Generation," Mrs. Heminway is a riveting tale of passion, love, and heartbreak.
Everything, now, is done à trois. Breakfast, then swimming; lunch, then bridge; dinner, then drinks in the evening. There are always three breakfast trays, three wet bathing suits, three sets of cards left folded on the table when the game, abruptly and without explanation, ends. Hadley and Ernest are accompanied wherever they go by a third: this woman slips between them as easily as a blade. This is Fife: this is her husband's lover.
Hadley and Ernest sleep together in the big white room of the villa, and Fife sleeps downstairs, in a room meant for one. The house is quiet and tense until one of their friends arrives with soap and provisions, idling by the fence posts, wondering whether it might be best to leave the three undisturbed.
They lounge around the houseHadley, Ernest, and Fifeand though they know they are all miserable no one is willing to sound the first retreat; not wife, not husband, not mistress. They have been in the villa like this for...
The subject matter covered isn't new; each woman has had at least one biography written about her life and relationship with Hemingway. By fictionalizing the narrative however, Wood provides a different perspective on her heroines, fleshing out the bare bones of fact with richly imagined motivations and emotions. The result is that the wives' love, sorrow, anger and frustration resonate in a way that feels right — closer to truth than not.
(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Many writers of "The Lost Generation," including Ernest Hemingway, spent a considerable amount of time in a Paris bookstore run by expat Sylvia Beach. Both Beach and her business offered considerable support to these artists, and in many ways were partly responsible for shaping the American literature of the generation.
Sylvia Beach was born March 14, 1887 in Baltimore, Maryland, as Nancy Woodbridge Beach, only taking the name "Sylvia" in later life as tribute to her father Sylvester. A Presbyterian minister from a long line of churchmen, Sylvester was responsible for his daughter's introduction to Paris, moving the family overseas for his work as an assistant pastor for the American Church in Paris from 1901 to 1905. Sylvia returned to ...
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