I can’t remember how I stumbled onto this book…..perhaps I read about it in a magazine, or someone else blogged about it….I truly can’t remember.
I do remember that I requested it from our library and it took several weeks before it became available.
This is the story of Hadley Richardson, a girl (well, not a girl….she is 28 year old spinster when she meets Hemingway) from St. Louis, who was Ernest Hemmingway’s first wife. Although the cover of the book shows an elegant lady dressed as if she’s from “Mad Men” in the late 50’s, this is set in the roaring 20’s and Hadley is described as being more thick and athletic.
She was the calm to Hemingway’s storm, but alas she is a starter wife who feeds Hemingway’s ego and sacrifices for his art.
The book starts in Chicago and then takes you places with the Hemingway’s such as Paris and Spain…a fictional book based on a true story.
I’ve been devouring it over the 3 day weekend.
Book Description from Amazon:
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.
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 Hemingway’s 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.