Advance reader reviews of The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife

A Novel

by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2011
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 20 member reviews
for The Paris Wife
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  • Michele J. (Gig Harbor, WA)


    Fascinating portrait
    A novel written in first-person narrative from the point of view of Hadley Hemingway, Earnest Hemingway's first wife. Hadley married Earnest when he was a young, unknown, aspiring writer and gave up her life in the States to move to Paris with him so that he could immerse himself in his writing.

    The narrative is very compelling...I was hooked by the first chapter and it never let up. Despite knowing how the marriage ended, I was riveted to this book.

    The author stays true to history while finding truth and poignancy in Hadley's voice. While I didn't always agree with her decisions, she is astonishingly real on these pages.

    Highly, highly recommended!
  • Victoria (CA)


    A Unique Perspective on Hemingway's Crowd
    As someone who hasn't read a lot of Hemingway, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself engrossed in the story of "Hem" and his first wife, Hadley. It's easy to get caught up in this novel, with its quick pace and clear writing. The story takes place not only in Paris, but around the globe, making it as interesting a read for the traveling as for the famous characters. McLain does a great job introducing characters like Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald through Hadley's eyes, without any starstruck pretenses. Hadley is a likable main character, as she is a bit of an outsider to Hem's artistic Parisian set, yet fascinated by them all the same (rather like her readers). The Paris Wife makes me want to go back and reread The Sun Also Rises... a true delight for Hemingway fans and historical fiction lovers alike.
  • Marjorie H. (Bedford, TX)


    What's Love Got To Do With It
    Excellent, well-written book. The characters had depth and believability.
    While Hemingway certainly is one of the literary giants of the 20th century, he plainly suffers from toxic selfishness. Perhaps all artists do . . . but Hadley suffers at his notion of marriage and stability. He uses her, discards her and uses his central focusing eye on himself. Obviously, Hadley expected more than hanging out with shiftless, unfocused "artists." Hadley and Ernest's marriage is a timeless struggle of failed expectations and ever mounting disappointment while trying to navigate two separate lifestyles. It was a recipe for disaster. Very sad, but not a new story.
    I highly recommend this book. Not only for the story, but for the author's obvious writing talent.
  • Kim B. (Arlington, TX)


    The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
    This book was a good read. It caught my attention right away and never let go. Paula McLain did an excellent job of writing & there was a lot of historical famous names that added to the story. I knew Hemingway for a great writer, but learned the other side of his life, which had a lot of hard moments to get through. Though he was a brilliant writer, in the end was it all worth it. I high recommend this book for book club read.
  • Rosemary T. (San Antonio, TX)


    The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
    I highly recommend reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain for anyone who has ever read any of Ernest Hemingway's work. It is an absorbing and compelling novel describing the early years of Hemingway's life as a struggling writer written through the voice of his first wife Hadley. The reader is also introduced to the circle of Hemingway friends, many becoming well-known names in today's literary world also. Upon completing the novel, I found myself wondering if Hemingway would have persevered during his early years to become the writer we know today if he hadn't been married to Hadley during this period. I found the book fascinating and now feel compelled to read A Movable Feast.
  • Sharon S. (Stanley, N.C.)


    "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain
    Author Paula McLain has written a substantial novel about Hemingway's early years and his first wife Hadley Richardson. After the pair wed in the early 1920's they set sail for Paris where the bohemian lifestyle is conducive to Hemingway's writing. As a great fan of Hemingway's, I had not delved into his early life or his many wives history. I could not put this book down, in fact I was sitting in cafes in Paris with Hemingway and the likes of Gertrude Stein,Ezra Pound, and the famous couple F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald! My book clubs can't wait for the release of this novel on March 8, 2011!
  • Debra C. (Vienna, Georgia)


    Ooh La La - A Paris Wife!
    What a kismet - a chance to review a novel about one of my favorite authors! Having read nearly every available Hemingway biography, I found I absolutely could not put down The Paris Wife. McLain's approach - written from Hadley's point of
    view - was unique and only enhanced my interest as I read. Other reviewers may disagree with me, but I genuinely feel that if you are a fan of Hemingway's work and find yourself yearning to know more about his life, The Paris Wife will
    be more than a satisfactory read!
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