This week’s BotW is The Paris Wife by Paula McLain – which has been sitting on my to-read pile for far too long What’s new. How many times have I said that now? But yes, once again, a really good book stuck in the backlog for ages. You’d think I’d learn by now, and yet The Pile is still out of control. Hey ho. Moving on.
The Paris Wife tells the story of the marriage between Ernest Hemingway and his first wife Hadley Richardson. The novel is told predominantly from Hadley’s perspective, interspersed with occasional diary style snippets from Hemingway. Hadley and Ernest are clearly very much in love when they get married and this paints a very convincing portrait of a marriage torn apart by genius, ego, Jazz Age Paris, children and other women. You can see the train wreck coming and they can see it coming – but they don’t seem to be able to do anything to avert it. But this isn’t a miserable book, it’s sad in places, but it’s also fascinating.
Whilst I haven’t read a lot of Hemingway’s work, I have read a fair bit of F Scott Fitzgerald’s – who is another member of this crew – and as I’ve mentioned before, I love this interwar time period. After reading this, I’ve realised that I’ve got a bit of a glut of books about this set sitting on my shelves – not only Mrs Hemingway, but also Villa America and I think another one that I can’t remember the title of. I might have to space out reading them so I don’t get too confused/overloaded, but I am looking forward to reading them soon.
I wouldn’t expect you to have too much difficulty tracking this down in the bookshops – it’ll probably be on the shelves rather than the tables by now though. But here’s a link to Foyles and Kindle just in case.