The Paris Wife by Paula McClain is the fictional retelling of Hemingway’s very real first wife, Hadley, and their life together in Paris. What a charming semi-fictional story! I read this novel very shortly after watching Midnight in Paris, and it couldn’t have been more perfect timing or a more perfect mindset to begin the book.
Hadley is a thoroughly endearing late-in-life bride to the ever-moody Ernest, who is fighting tooth and nail to make his way in the world as a writer. On a whim, their new marriage makes it’s way to Paris to suffer in poverty among other soon-to-be-great authors. Hadley’s is an incredible story that begs to be told. I found myself feeling empathy for her in her loneliness while Ernest selfishly seeks his own career, while shoving Hadley’s needs to the side.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda, and James Joyce all make appearances in this enchanting novel which showcases the fantastic woman who enabled Ernest Hemingway to become the man and writer he is to us today. Hadley suffered greatly under Ernest’s selfishness and she deserves the praise this novel bestows upon her.
GREAT storytelling, even if it elaborates somewhat on the truth. Would absolutely suggest as it was hard to put down and emotionally wrenching.