Reader reviews and comments on The Paris Wife, plus links to write your own review.

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The Paris Wife

A Novel

by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain X
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2011, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2012, 352 pages

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There are currently 23 reader reviews for The Paris Wife
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melissa

lovely
The Times called Hadley boring at times, but that is incorrect.The book is a perfect portrayal of how a narcissist thinks. Nothing this man says to his supposed love has anything whatsoever to do with HER. It is always about HIM right down to how she says she is happy at their marriage because HE NEEDS to hear it. Its exhausting to know these individuals let alone LOVE them because there really is no empathy or ability to love. And you see in this book how it affects those around them. I pity this woman and to see her get a little angrier, show some self would be the stuff of modern romance where Jerry Mcguire realizes that he has been a shallow self absorbed jerk and vows to change...but narcissists don't change...psychiatrists don't treat then, they ignore them, and that's not how his life went..
I bought the book because I absolutely had to see the quality of fiction writing that goes to auction and I am left without a bone in my body that ISN'T jealous of McClains prose.It is beautifully imagined.
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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Beyond the Book:
  Hemingway's Leading Ladies

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