The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Summary ~ The Paris Wife ~ 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.

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.

Before reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain the only familiarity I had with Hemingway was the look-a-like contest held in Key West, FL every year and some of country singer Kenny Chesney’s tunes and his admiration for the writer.  Having just finished The Paris Wife I feel more familiar with the man but am left wanting to know more and feeling left in the dark a bit  when it comes to Hemingway.  He proved to be very interesting to read about. 

I had the great pleasure of meeting Paula McLain and listening to her read from and talk about her exceptional novel The Paris Wife a couple of months ago at the 2011 Gaithersburg (MD) Book Festival.  As I started to read her book last week I could hear her effervescent and charming voice reading her words in my head.  Quickly Hadley’s voice took over for Ms. McLain and I was happy to have her company for a week.  The Paris Wife is a book unlike any I’ve read.  It read like a novel told in first person most of the time but at moments a biography about Hemingway popped up from the pages and introduced me to the legendary writer in a very informative way.  I found myself feeling like a voyeur into the city of Paris in the roaring 20’s and the lives of Hadley, Ernest and their very interesting friends.  I was glad that I had recently seen Woody Allen’s lovely film, Midnight In Paris.  I had never read anything by Hemingway nor had I looked into the lives of Hemingway, Fitzgerald and the number of other writers introduced in The Paris Wife.  Now I want to!  Isn’t that what a book should do?  Lead you somewhere else!

Regarding McLain’s writing I found the insight directly into Hemingway’s thoughts and experiences brought an additional richness to Hadley’s words and story telling.  At times it was heartbreaking to learn what Ernest was truly about but it created even more depth that was just so great to read.

The Paris Wife is an emotional, romantic, painful and wonderful book.  It made me glad that I didn’t marry a man like Ernest Hemingway!

{Rating 4.5 out of 5}

Military Spouse Writing Contest

Author of “Mrs. Lieutenant”, Phyllis Zimbler Miller, has asked me to share the following contest information with you (this is for Military Spouses Only):

YourMilitary.com Announces

“Tell-Your-Own-Story” Contest for Military Spouses

for Season 2 of the Lifetime ARMY WIVES TV Series

From June 8 (premiere of Season 2) to June 29

Submit the Story of Your Happiest, Saddest or Most Significant Moment as a Military Spouse (All Branches Eligible)

Go to www.YourMilitary.com and click on “Contest Submission.” Fill out the submission form, including a title for your story.  Then paste your story into the box (500 word maximum).  Present and past military spouses may submit multiple entries.

In honor of the Fourth of July – YourMilitary.com and YourMilitarySpace.com will feature the best 15 submissions.  All 10 2nd place winners will receive prizes from YourMilitary.com, including the new book Mrs. Lieutenant: A Sharon Gold Novel by Phyllis Zimbler Miller (www.mrslieutenant.com).  The five grand prize winners will also receive Season 1 of ARMY WIVES on DVD. 

And in the meantime, check out the information on www.YourMilitary.com  – information to help make your life better.