The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife : Nominated for the Richard & Judy Book Club 2012 and the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards 2012

3.79 (209,983 ratings by Goodreads)
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Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a shy twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness when she meets Ernest Hemingway and is captivated by his energy, intensity and burning ambition to write. After a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for France. But glamorous Jazz Age Paris, full of artists and writers, fuelled by alcohol and gossip, is no place for family life and fidelity. Ernest and Hadley's marriage begins to founder, and the birth of a beloved son serves only to drive them further apart. Then, at last, Ernest's ferocious literary endeavours begin to bring him recognition - not least from a woman intent on making him her own . . .
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 126 x 194 x 26mm | 322.05g
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1844086682
  • 9781844086689
  • 285

Review quote

Hadley is a deeply touching character, dignified even as she loses almost everything she's loved, and making her goodness both convincing and interesting is an impressive feat -- Olivia Laing * Guardian * [A] beautifully imagined novel . . . sharp, unsparing and delivered in a pared-down prose that the great man himself would have applauded * Sunday Telegraph * As much about life and how we try to catch it as it is about love even as it vanishes . . . utterly absorbing -- Sarah Blake, author of The Postmistress A beautiful portrait of being in Paris in the glittering 1920s - as a wife and as one's own woman * Entertainment Weekly * With vivid, memorable touches . . . McLain captures Hemingway's legendary charisma, and his fatal tendencies -- Sarah Churchwell * Guardian *
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About Paula McLain

Paula McLain received an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan and has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She is the author of two collections of poetry, as well as a memoir, Like Family, and a novel, A Ticket to Ride. She lives in Cleveland with her family.
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Rating details

209,983 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 23% (47,936)
4 43% (90,891)
3 26% (54,434)
2 6% (13,095)
1 2% (3,627)

Our customer reviews

i adore Hemingway's pieces of art as they are really pieces of art! as for the book i jsut enjoyed a lot reading it, i just swallowed it and after doing so felt a bit sorry of being too in a hurry to know the end of the story even if you know it before ending ... but more i was reaching the end and more indignant i grew with this triangle relationship. i hated Hem for his indecisiveness and it's just obvoius he didn't want the responsibility for this separation and was just waiting for Hadley's step to do it. the last page just left me a bit confused and sad at the same time. it's like made me realize that first love is first love and there is nothing that can cancel it from your mind even with ages that pass more
by Munira Asanova
Usually I do not cry while reading a book. But this book made be cry. REally trully amzig more
by Kristine Somere
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain My rating: 4 of 5 stars It's tragic and sad in the sense that you see this relationship falling apart, but it is also frustrating for the same reason. Hadley is this sweet, whole-hearted character and Hemmingway is this mythical creature she falls in love with. Dependent on each other for different reasons - hers more binding than his apparently. You want to slap them both for their stupidity, and you want to hug the child (whose effect they did not consider). But mostly I want to slap Pauline. So entirely self-centred and unthinking. And yet she's still such a remarkable woman with all her modern ways. Hadley and Hemmingway set sail into a world they knew nothing of and suffered at the hands of it. They appear essential to each other, and yet this was their ultimate downfall. Well worth the read - I knew little of Hemmingway and am now intrigued by this Jazz-age Paris and the creativehub it more
by Hannah Jermyn
I was a bit unsure about what i would think of this book. It was a bit slow to begin with but after the first two or three chapters, i could not put it down. The imagery is gorgeous. Definitely worth the more
by Alannah Tomlinson
I had seen Midnight in Paris and set the book in that visual imagery of Stein's Grand Salon and life in Paris...Love this story which is based on Hemingway's first wife (the first of four). It shows a tender, vulnerable and sensitive Hemingway that is very different from his late in life persona of a gruff "Papa". Wonderful read about a complex woman behind the famous man--much like "Loving Frank". I, too, felt sorry for Hadley but hoped Hemingway realized what he'd more
by Maggie Swithenbank
Told in first person from the viewpoint of Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley, I enjoyed reading about Paris (and Chicago as Hadley was American) and the events of the 1920's/30's. I have to admit that I have never read a book by Hemingway, but that lack of experience didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. I often thought back to the movie Midnight in Paris which is kind of how I set the book in my mind's eye. With the events of the book based on fact, I found the book easy to read, and ended feeling very sorry for more
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