Paris Wife, The

McLain, Paula

  9 Reviews

1920s Jazz Age Paris; a glittering and golden city, home to Ernest Hemingway and his first bride Hadley. Amidst the energy and passion of the expatriate community with its cast of famous names (Fitzgerald, Stein, Pound and more), Ernest establishes himself as a literary force to be reckoned with. But all too soon domesticity and ambition are at odds, and as they say, the rest is history.

Told from Hadley's viewpoint, this is an imagined version of real life events that delivers a love story set in an intoxicating time and place and portrays a marriage of an unlikely couple. [Larger font]

Comments from Groups

We all enjoyed the book having read some of Hemingway's writings - it was good to find out more about his life. Excellent discussion. Rotorua 006

Most of our group really enjoyed the unique insight into the personal life of Ernest Hemingway given by this book. At times we felt both frustrated and fascinated by Hadley and Ernest's relationships and their lifestyle choices. It has inspired some of us to read one of Hemingway's novels. Tauranga 038

Everyone enjoyed the book. Found the lifestyle of the 1920's very interesting. Animated discussion - liked the questions. Cromwell 003

Everybody enjoyed the book and it was reinforced to us all how world events impact on the lives and personalities and decisions people make within their environment. Pahiatua 001

A wonderfully written book about marriage, that gives a deep insight into Ernest Hemingway's nature and what drove him. It is helpful to have some knowledge of writers of the first part of the twentieth century. Hamilton 029

We all enjoyed this one, and are very pleased we aren't married to anyone like Ernest! Morrinsville 002

We all thoroughly enjoyed reading 'The Paris Wife' by Paula McLain. What a marriage! It worked because they did care about each other, but their personalities and expectations of life and marriage were so different. We were all so happy that Hadley found happiness and fulfilment in her marriage to Paul. Lovely pictures of Paris despite the poverty and "alternative" lifestyle. Lots of discussion on Hemingway's obsession with bulls and bull fighting. We found the passages from Ernest's point of view most interesting, and as we had all read some of his books, these passages gave a real insight to his personality. The book certainly inspired a lot of discussion about the life in Paris, and life in general. Marton 001

Our group enjoyed 'The Paris Wife', with some reservations. It was difficult to empathise with the characters and their lifestyle. We were interested in the portrayal of Hemingway as a young man and the effect of his injuries from WW1. Some of us are now keen to read some of Hemingway's work. Pukekohe 001

Regard for this work was lukewarm for most - especially because the author was composing a story from the mouth of Ernest Hemingway's wife. The length of the work became tedious and lacking in validity, but what it DID achieve however, was a drive to read Hemingway's work itself. Ohope 001

Very popular. Everyone loved it. Our favourite book of the year. Auckland 297



AUCK 352
Mixed reviews but it sure generated a lot of chat about the Hemingway era, and all these genius but troubled people!
AUCK 014
Excellent discussion. Got us all interested in Hemingway again. Good easy read.
ASHB 004
Great insight into 1920s, post-war Paris and the rather bohemian, indulgent life-style they lived. We all enjoyed the book, the writing style and the well-drawn characters. We all found Hadley a very sympathetic character.
Most loved this book and the 1920s setting - enjoyed having some context around the knowledge we each had of Ernest Hemingway. We found the writing style quite plain and a little "simple", but this enhanced our own interpretations of various parts of the story. Both main characters annoyed and intrigued our members in equal measure, but those of us who loved it were captivated.
AUCK 240
People found the writing a bit pedestrian and the characters frustrating. Still an interesting portrait of 1920s Paris and a fascinating time.
CHCH 395
We enjoyed this book, and many of us felt it was very well-written. Interesting to read about these famous people.
CHCH 475
The group thoroughly enjoyed this book. Felt it was the best this year.
Members enjoyed this book which generated much discussion. Initially a love story, the heroine, verging on spinsterhood, in marriage becomes the steadying influence in her husband's life. Although poor, the couple join the circle of artists who drink their way through the 1920s Parisian Jazz Age. A fast life, a series of mistakes, promiscuity and lack of commitment lead to a short marriage. Mostly written in Hadley's voice, members thought the additions of Ernest's gave the work depth. Researching Hadley's voice from numerous sources could name this historical fiction.
Some people loved the book, others didn't. So it was a lively discussion!