Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Review: The Paris Wife

I finished The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLain a few days ago and wanted to stay on top of writing book reviews right after I read them, so here's my take. It was wonderful and I highly recommend it.

This was my happy hour Tuesday evening.
Kate from Une Vie Chic lent me the book.

It's the story of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway's first wife, the one he married before and as he achieved fame. I love her. She's an observer, the quiet one in a group and very interested in the well being of others. A kindred spirit. This is an honest look at their marriage from her perspective. She was amazingly supportive of her husband, making many sacrifices herself, all for him to achieve his great potential. ...and he needed this support. Thinking about his preferred subject matter and particularly his character in (the movie) Midnight in Paris, I was surprised about this, and furthermore that he was not confident and weak. She was also very strong for herself, not standing for the open marriages everyone they surrounded themselves with seemed to be having. She was a great wife to him and I yelled at him in my head for him to be a better husband to her. They were perfect for one another with an easy dynamic and major similarities during childhood.

This is fiction, but incredible historical fiction. It's written so well, I almost felt like I was in the room! It kept your interest. It the kind of book you read quickly, as I advise you to do just so you can keep all the (multiple) nicknames everyone has straight! I read it in five days, always looking forward to getting back to it.

The novel was primarily set in Paris during the 20s, which is so fun. Artists often indulged in the cafe culture. With so many cafes named, I would love to sit in the ones all of these writers and their muses did when I visit Paris in April!

Update: I just placed a hold on Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition at my local library.


  1. So glad you liked it! I thought it was phenomenal historical fiction, blending fact with assumptions. Also, A Moveable Feast is wonderful. Such a different time.

    1. Thank you for lending it to me. I can't wait to read A Moveable Feast!