The Paris WifePaula McLain

The Paris Wife

4 star

Total 3,480 Ratings

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain Book Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A deeply evocative novel 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 When the Stars Go Dark
“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.

The Paris Wife (Paula McLain) Book Reviews

"Roaring 20s" recapThis explores the arc of a particular marriage during a particular time. Author McClain has gotten into the heads of Ernest and first wife Hadley in order to illustrate how their marriage was in the 1920s, mostly in Paris. Wonderful tableau created of that time, that place, and the Hemingways' dalliances with their (in)famous creative friends there. Especially poignant for Hemingway fans..Score: 5/5

Very enjoyableIt was a bit feminine but a well-written story. It lingered with you for a while after you are done and makes you feel nostalgic for 1920s and la vie des artistes. Very enjoyable read. Would give 4 1/2 start if iBooks would allow it..Score: 4/5

The Paris WifeA wonderful read from the first sentence. One of those books you hate to finish. I was transported to one of my favorite periods in American literature. It felt as if I was the proverbial fly on the wall during the beginning of some of my favorite author's most intimate moments..Score: 5/5

Paris WifeGreat book. Enjoyed it tremendously. I particularly could identify with Hadley as Ernest began his affair with Paulette. Having gone through the same thing in my marriage. I don't think Ernest would have been successful without her. He seemed to take the best of her and then her best wasn't good enough he let her go. I will certain,y read some of her other books. Linda Yagodzinski.Score: 4/5

The Paris WifeBeautiful - highly recommend it - could hardly put it down.Score: 5/5

CompellingA brilliant telling of an era, a city, a woman, a writer, a marriage. The words invoked were truthful, full of tenderness and stark reality. I loved this novel!.Score: 5/5

Really interestingMy book club picked this and I have to admit I wasn't too excited. It was actually much better than I expected. I loved hearing about their transient lifestyle all over Europe. It also provided insight into Hemingway's life. I'd recommend watching "In Love and War" before you read this as this book starts right where that movie ends..Score: 4/5

Great readThe book was easy to read and demonstrated the passion of their love and relationship..Score: 4/5

A True Page TurnerStunning, mesmerizing, intoxicating. Page after page leaves you wanting more. Brilliantly researched and written, this novel is a must-read for anyone as hooked on Hemingway as I and a wonderful novel for those being first introduced to Papa..Score: 5/5

Enjoyable, easy readThis is a reasonably quick fictional but historical account giving an outline of Hemingway's life with his first wife through her eyes. It is an enjoyable read which leaves you wanting to know more about his life, not just this small part of it..Score: 3/5

Paris wifeSoo!!! Sad it's over, this was a great book , wanted it to last forever, it was a great fast read ..Score: 5/5

TheParis WifeInteresting book!.Score: 4/5

WonderfulWhat a non stop read. Loved it...front to back.Score: 5/5

Must ReadThis has been one of the most enjoyable series I have read. The story of Christian's tragic childhood and the way it harden him as an adult breaks my heart. But when he meets Ana and finally opens his heart it is so warm and loving. The best thing about these books to me are how true the sex scenes are. They way the author describes things is very true to form in the way my husband touches me. I loved the trueness of that! Will defiantly read them all again..Score: 5/5

FantasticA wonderful take on the relationship this dynamic duo had. Very insporational..Score: 5/5

The Paris WifeA beautifully written book about a time I would have loved to witness. I felt as if I had a seat in the room..Score: 4/5

Not impressedThought reviews would mean I would love book but it wasn't good until last chapter. Depressing to think a woman could live with a man like Hemminway was..Score: 2/5

Beautiful bookI read Circling the Sun first and loved it. The Paris Wife was also a great read that had me again on page 1 . I cannot wait to read her earlier work and hope her next work is already taking shape and not just an outline, She knows to tell a good story..Score: 5/5

Still get emotional when I think of HadleyVery moving, gripping, and relatable in a seemingly unique time.Score: 5/5

Get a cup of tea and chat with Hadley in "The Paris Wife"As a girl, I had a fantasy that I could invite historical figures to tea. Some books give you this very opportunity and Paula Maclain's cozy novel does just that. Hadley reveals a traditional passion for marriage as well as her erstwhile husband, Hemmingway. And despite his cheating ways, I came to love him as well. Yet, the novel speaks to a higher struggle between the artist and convention. Maclain's sensitive descriptions of Europe in the twenties bring the smell of roasting chestnuts and rain into your consciousness. This is a book to read when you'd rather be in Paris. Caution: Not the book to read if your lover or husband has just left, though, then again, maybe you and Hadley can commiserate! Would have given the book five stars had the dialogue been crisper. I craved a bit more wit and melody from the assembled throng of literati in this book, but it was a splendid page-turner nonetheless..Score: 4/5

The Paris WifeI resisted this book for a long time. Now I am so glad that I finally read it. It is heartbreakingly real and wonderful. You won't be sorry; read it!.Score: 5/5

Different for meNot my typical read, although it was a good read. I'm more interested in Hemingway's life now. Thank you for the suggested books..Score: 3/5

Fun readApparently historically accurate and thus interesting if you've read hemingway and/or have some knowledge of the art and literature of the time..Score: 4/5

DelightfulThis is not my typical read. In fact, I only read this book because of my book club but found that I couldn't put it down. It provoked a lot of emotions in me: happiness, sadness, anger, and disgust! I was very saddened by the stupid choices we make and this story really brings one of those choices to light! I love the way it was written and really fell in love with the characters! I was sad when I finished it and not only because of the story line..Score: 5/5

Wish it had more of a plotWhile the characters are indeed interesting, I had a hard time finishing this one. It lacked a real plot and I constantly felt like I was reading just to read. Nothing seems to really happen in this book..Score: 1/5

Great storyThis book locks you in, many times I wanted to put it away because I was so discussed with Ernest but I felt for Hadley. I just had to see the end. I love how it's not a mushy lovey dove fairytale, you really feel the way Hadley does!.Score: 5/5

Great ReadComing from a guy, I thought this was a great book. Read it!!! Tells a great story of love, Paris and marriage.Score: 5/5

Triumph of Non-FictionWhat an enjoyable ride, with all of the ups and downs one may expect. A modest yet ever-interesting narrator with strength and humanity is up against the unimaginable odds as the wife of someone like Hemmingway. Beautiful language kept me learning, the humanity kept me reading. I leave, slightly more brokenhearted but certainly fulfilled..Score: 5/5

The Paris wifeAmazing book.Score: 5/5

Not the "Sad" WifeI've often thought that Hadley seemed strangely absent in biographies of the outsized Hemingway--a little sad. This novelization of her story does flesh her out some and shows qualities that drew her to Hemingway in the first place. The 20's in Paris, the talents (some spinning out of control) the Bohemianism were not exactly the place for sensible, supportive Hadley but Hemingway certainly seemed to need her at that time in his life..Score: 4/5

FrustratingI found Hadley to be incredibly frustrating. Why would she put up with this crap? I also found myself hoping that Hemingway was not this much of a jerk in reality. Also, where was this amazing love story and marriage that everyone envied?? I will not be recommending this book to anyone..Score: 2/5

PW review associated on this page is not for this bookCorrect the review from Publishers Weekly please.Score: 3/5

The Paris WifeBold characters and a rich story..Score: 5/5

Slow but deepI found this book a bit slow - so much so that I would go for weeks without picking it up in between chapters. However, at the same time I found it a deep and thought inspiring book and would recommend it to anyone with the patience for a very detailed and in depth book..Score: 4/5

LovelyA beautiful love story. I felt like an indiscernible observer in the center of a lovely gathering of friends, compelled to stay involved with them all. One of my favorite books ever. JLMW.Score: 5/5

The Paris Wife..Score: 4/5

I loved this bookBut it may be just because it was so reminiscent of my first't put it down. makes me want to go back and read my Hemingway all over again with fresh eyes...but also i want more great books about marriage....from the wife's perspective. Thank you!.Score: 4/5

A Paris WifeThe book was mesmerizing and the longer I read the harder it was to put it down. This was also particularly true because I had just read the current version of A Moveable Feast edited by Sean Hemingway and am getting ready to read Hemingway's Boat. The terribly disappointing part was the sloppy proof reading that resulted in typos in the text and supplementary material at the end. This is not acceptable to the serious reader. Joan Marsht.Score: 4/5

Love love loveI couldn’t stop reading it. Afterwards I started reading the Sun Also Rises and began to see the parallels..Score: 5/5

The Paris WifeLoved every page of this story. Could not put it down..Score: 5/5

Great readI have always enjoyed Hemingway's writing, from his short stories to his novels. I foudg this book just as enjoyable, especially as the reader gets to experience Hemingway through Hadley's eyes. A great read, especially for those who like and are familiar with Hemingway's works..Score: 5/5

WonderfulLoved this book. Devoured it. Really a great read.Score: 5/5

Paris WifeI read this book for my book club. Tragic, sad, lonely, depressing, and mostly drunk and that describes the two of them. Thank God Hadley woke up! I wanted to reach into the pages of the story and shake her free. Ladies, respect your all times. Thank you. [email protected]@@.Score: 4/5

Outstanding!One of the best books I've read in a while, Hemingway or not, and I could not put it down! An absolutely, "in the moment" book, which brings you from being a bystander, into every word spoken, every train boarded, and every tear fallen. The author combined a fabulous dialogue, with facts & historical accounts of Hemingway's life, in such a way that it seems to be an authentic biography. A delightful, wonderful read, that was completely unexpected..Score: 5/5

A Paris wifeArrived missing more than twenty pages.... McLine is a regular story teller, lacks emotion..Score: 2/5

The Paris wifeRead this book in a very short time. Loved the Paris setting , the Superficial lives of the intellectuals of those days... the writing in first person. Fell in love with Hadley and her tormentous life. Would definitely recommend this book..Score: 5/5

A truly beautifully written bookThis is one of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. I couldn't put it down. A very intimate look into a marriage relationship to its tumultuous end..Score: 5/5

A time in ParisAn excellent read with vibrant and real characters. Hemingway and his Cat are so human and so much a part of the Jazz Age in Paris. Through Cat, the author tells a compelling story of love found and too quickly lost. We are told of the loss immediately - so the adventure to the inevitable becomes a compelling tale. We can share the pain and loss of our own first big love. The European scene is also a hulking character in the book - along with the Fitzgeralds and the rest of the x-pat artistic luminaries. Read this book..Score: 5/5

Drinking their way throughVery well written story, and a fun romp through 1920's Paris. But Hemingway's long list of poor decisions was troubling. It seemed they were drinking on every page, traveling impetuously with unknown funds and throwing responsibility to the wind. So although Hemingway the writer might be held in high esteem, as a man, I have less regard for him..Score: 4/5

Excellent!!!I love this book!!!.Score: 5/5

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