NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal that captures the love affair between two unforgettable people, Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley—from the author of Love and Ruin and the new novel When the Stars Go Dark, available now!
“A beautiful portrait of being in Paris in the glittering 1920s—as a wife and as one’s own woman.”—Entertainment Weekly
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY People • Chicago Tribune • NPR • The Philadelphia Inquirer • Kirkus Reviews • The Toronto Sun • BookPage
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. 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 Fitzgerald.
Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually they 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.
McLain's novel covers the marriage of Hadley Richardson and Ernest Hemingway, from their romantic, early years in Paris where they slow danced to the sounds of the accordion drifting up from the apartment below, lunched with Gertrude Stein, and had cocktails with the Fitzgeralds to their marriage growing more complicated as Ernest's literary career takes off. Carrington Macduffie's voice for Ernest is harsh and guttural, which makes him sound less charismatic and makes it difficult for the listener to understand why Hadley puts up with him as long as she does. Macduffie's voice for Hadley is stilted and timid at first Hadley is perpetually fumbling for the right word, but she gradually sounds increasingly self-assured. Macduffie's ability to communicate Hadley's transformation vocally makes for moving listening. A Ballantine hardcover.
The Paris wife
A book I won't soon forget. I was drawn in and left emotionally drained. Made me feel like I was a part of the culture and the Hemingway family.
A must read for Hemingway fans
I'd read most of Hemingway's novels and short story collections years ago, and recently decided to reread several of my favorites. I started with The Garden of Eden, then A Movable Feast. I had heard about The Paris Wife and thought it might be interesting to experience Hemingway through the eyes of Hadley, and I'm so glad I did. I loved this book.
Wonderfully written and a delight to read. Makes Hemingway more vulnerable and not so superhuman. Would rate 4 1/2 stars.