Title: The Paris Wife
Author: Paula McLain
My rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Hadley’s life has been mostly relegated to St. Louis, until she meets the winsome Ernest in Chicago during a trip to visit her friend. Brimming with potential, Ernest is an aspiring writer full of life, zest, and everything that Hadley thought she was lacking. They fall in love and marry, and he whisks her away to Paris to begin his writing career. While Hadley loves Ernest and wants to see his career take off, the transition and culture of Paris are harder on her than she expected. She struggles to fit in and to make friends, even while they traipse in circles that include Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein. Will their marriage make it?
Quote: “You are everything good and straight and fine and true—and I see that so clearly now, in the way you’ve carried yourself and listened to your own heart. You’ve changed me more than you know, and will always be a part of everything I am. That’s one thing I’ve learned from this. No one you love is ever truly lost.”
Review: Though I haven’t read any of Hemingway’s books (The Sun Also Rises is on my to-read list), I’ve been fascinated with the women behind the famous authors of the 20th century. I read Z a few summers ago and was excited to find that there was one about Mrs. Hemingway as well. The story was beautifully and tragically written, so much so that it made me sad to read it! It was definitely different to read a book that you knew would end badly and it produced a lot of melancholy. Ernest’s mistakes were hard to read because they seemed so avoidable, especially considering how much of a difference it made in their lives. If you love historical fiction, classic literature, and strong women, I’d definitely recommend it.