Home > Books > The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain

The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain

December 22, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

I just had to write something about this book, The Paris Wife, because I found it so fascinating. I am not an Ernest Hemingway aficionado. I read The Green Hills of Africa in 2011 and found it to be very interesting, but also quite graphic and brutal. It’s a non-fiction book about the game-hunting he did while in Tanzania. It’s very interesting if you are looking to compare what the animal population once was in that part of the world, compared to the numbers today. Quite shocking, really.

After reading McLain’s book, I understand that this is something he was always trying to get to in his writing, this purity in the violent act, such as in the bull-fighting that is purported in The Sun Also Rises, which I have not read.

This book is so well written, that I truly felt I was reading the words of Hadley Richardson, Hemingway’s first wife. I pined with her for Hemingway when he was away on work assignments, and felt her frustration and her anger as he drifted into his relationship with Pauline Pfeiffer. McLain carefully lays out the suffering that these women have in common and they compete for Hemingway’s affection. But it is impossible to take Pauline’s side, interloper that she was. Although, in no way, is Hemingway innocent, having carried on affairs, apparently, throughout his marriage.

I highly recommend this book. I’m adding Hemingway’s book, A Moveable Feast, to my list of books to read, since it’s supposed to be about his relationship with Hadley Richardson. I suspect I have had this book on my audio list at the library for several years, so it’s about time to get to it!

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Categories: Books
  1. ANNAMARIE
    December 29, 2014 at 17:29

    Sounds like a book I will have to check out

    • Fiona de Kerckhove
      December 29, 2014 at 19:32

      Yes, if you like Paris, the 20’s and want to know about Hemingway 🙂

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