The Paris Wife: A Novel (Unabridged‪)‬

    • 3.6 • 136 Ratings
    • $14.99

    • $14.99

Publisher Description

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.

A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

Carrington MacDuffie
hr min
February 22
Random House Audio

Customer Reviews



This story is told by Hadley, Hemmingway's first wife. This gave the life style of the 1920's and Hemmingway's arrogance and selfishness.
Many interactions with other famous people and insight to the man. A great read.

tune-in ,

The Days of Wine and Prose-s

Hemmingway's first wife, Hadley, (about whom he said "I wish I had died before I met anyone but her"...) tells the story of her doomed and short-lived marriage to the iconic author--a HARD drinking, psychologically flawed, and sometimes selfish and moody artist. The struggling couple are swept up in the 1920's Parisian Jazz era, their lives tarnished by the indulgent amoral times and the cast of eccentric poets, artists, and expatriates they fall in with. Wonderful images of smokey French cafes, chalets in the Alps, picnics on French beaches, and the wild bullfights in Pamplona. But in the end, even the copious amounts of alcohol can't erase the sadness of two lives on different paths. Written in the vernacular of the times, the dialogue sometimes seems a bit too chipper and peachy-keen for the alcohol-fueled emotional tumult going on, and the narrator's eloquent delivery of this otherwise hip cool lingo seems mistmatched and takes a little getting used to, as does the too often milquetoast Hadley...(you just want this swell kitten of a gal to clench up and get in one good whack!). *VERY GOOD book; fascinating look into a unique period of time, and what formed Hemmingway's great talent.

Birdie Mcbirdie ,

A Paris Wife

Hadley is a wonderful character - I loved the flow and honesty of the story. A very good book.

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