Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Renee at It’s Book Talk. Throwback Thursday is an awesome opportunity to share old favorites as well as older books in our TBR. I love this idea as I’m often distracted by all of the shiny, new books I see every day and don’t make it back to the ones that have been sitting on my shelves.
My pick of the the week is:
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
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.
This is the book that began my obsession with all things Hemingway. I loved everything about it. The literary/art scene in 1920’s Paris is one of my all-time favorite bookish eras. I’m fascinated by all the glitz and glamour and the fast, partying lifestyle.
The relationship between Hadley and Ernest was unbelievably complex. Paula McLain did a suburb job of describing its many facets and nuances. I loved Hadley and, though he made me mad beyond words, I loved Ernest too. In the end, I felt gutted beyond all reason.
I’m so happy that Paula McLain’s newest book, Love and Ruin, is taking us back to Ernest via his relationship with Martha Gellhorn. I did see Hemingway and Gellhorn but it’s been a long time and I don’t recall many of the details. I’m really looking forward to learning more about Martha. I’m also looking forward to reading about some of her experiences in the Spanish Civil War as I’ve not read any books set in that time and place.