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Publisher's Summary

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a shy 28-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness when she meets Ernest Hemingway and is captivated by his energy, intensity and burning ambition to write. After a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for France. But glamorous Jazz Age Paris, full of artists and writers, fuelled by alcohol and gossip, is no place for family life and fidelity.
Ernest and Hadley's marriage begins to founder, and the birth of a beloved son serves only to drive them further apart. Then, at last, Ernest's ferocious literary endeavours begin to bring him recognition - not least from a woman intent on making him her own....
©2011 Paula McLain (P)2011 Random House Inc
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Critic Reviews

"I read it in two days, laughing and crying. What a heartbreaker . . . It has all the ingredients of a literary heart-thumper: sex, love, ambition, betrayal, impossibility and regret . . . McLain has given the voice, mind, pen and strength to a woman. Hadley is an intelligent, strong, adult woman in a deeply unsympathetic situation - glittering, but toxic and ultimately very undermining. It's a very haunting combination." (Bidisha)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Maritza Breitenbach on 01-30-15

Honest and beautifully written

Wonderful. Well read by narrator. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Beautifully written - detailed, crisp, vivid and filled with deep emotion. I highly recommend this book.

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By Jane on 03-12-13

yearning for a love that can last a lifetime

This novel which interprets Ernest Hemingway’s marriage to Hadley Richardson, is read with a measured calm voice of Carrington MacDuffie. Her presentation allows deep emotions to flow through the words.

The Paris Wife is an almost understated description of events, mainly in Hadley’s voice with perfectly inserted third person commentaries. Two people partner through important stages in the development of their life paths and at the same time their care for each other allows them to start dealing with traumatic events of their youth.

So it is almost inevitable that the power and passion of their relationship has an end point because it really was about finding the paths to personal fulfilment rather than a whole of life journey. However, their story also evokes a yearning for the couple finding in their existence together a love that could last a lifetime. Ultimately this is about accepting the journeys within life and love that still leaves a yearning regret for things that flower and bloom and then fade and die.

I admired Hadley’s ability to be so objective about complex events – which take place in exotic and dynamic locations.

And she delights in what was good and true and fine (recurring words). There is also an appreciation of the unusual attributes of genius, of people who contribute so greatly, as he did, to the cultural interpretation of our life. Hadley lovingly and devotedly draws Hemingway into the social norms of love and parenthood and companionship – deep affection. But ultimately Hemingway is not compatible with these norms – through his family legacies and the experience of war -- and sheer genius.

This book me to reread some of Hemingway's work and of course I did a google search on what eventually happened to the various characters.

This is a very rewarding listen.

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Customer Reviews

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By melanie on 07-06-12

Okay

I have to admit it took me a while to get into this book. I listened to the first couple of chapters and gave up as I thought it was boring and I just could'nt get in to it. I went back to it after a month and then I got in to it. It's okay not great. The narrator sounds like the actress Candice Bergin I could imagine to some people her voice could be annoying but I was okay with it.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Alison on 02-21-12

Fascinating insights

This is a lovely book. It manages to feel exactly like a real autobiography, being told in the first person from the Paris Wife's perspective, although it is in fact a novel. The insights into the artistic mind - ruthless, arrogant, driven, slightly mad - of Hemmingway are very well drawn. Was she a 'doormat', or a muse, or the person who made his career possible? All three, probably. Did he love, use or abuse her? Again, all three, I felt.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By krystyna on 03-06-17

What an interesting view...

I enjoyed listening to the book so much, the story was. It only intriguing but I found myself laughing, getting angry and feeling so much throughout it. It's very well played and would recommend this as a must listen!

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