The Paris Wife - Paula McLain





This is a very confounding novel to write about. Maybe it was intentionally dull for the first three quarters. It eventually achieved a level of conviction as the marriage between Hadley and Ernest Hemingway began to tank. It's as if Hadley couldn't reflect on her married life until it was lost to her.
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It was like reading two separate books. The first part is filled with stilted prose and the daily drivel of everyday life. It isn't until she and Hemingway return to Spain- the inspiration forThe Sun Also Rises-that Hadley begins to speak in her own voice. From then on the story shifts its focus from chronicling what they ate, drank and wore and begins to examine the complexity of their marriage, offering some insights into hers and Hemingway's characters. I can't understand why the editor allowed such a disconnect between the early and later parts of the book. There is a fascinating story here but it will be up to someone else to tell it.

For Ernest's version of these events check out A Moveable Feast. Here's a link to my review of it: