Sunday, September 16, 2012

Book Review: The Paris Wife

Looking to meet new friends in the area, I was this.close to joining a book club.  I actually bought the book for my Kindle, but never joined the club.

After reading a bunch of books for business, it was time for a "fun" read.  The Paris Wife by Paula McLain was already paid for, and it was a bestseller, so I dove right in.  The book is written from the point of view of Hadley Hemingway, first wife of Ernest Hemingway.

My review?  Mixed.  It was an easy and engaging book to read, and I kept using Wikipedia to read the histories of these real-life (but fictionally portrayed) characters.  Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and more!  What an interesting time to be alive, exploring Europe, and living in a time where people of little means could still live fabulous lives.

But at the same time (spoiler alert!) the book made me incredibly sad.  It actually made me greatly dislike Ernest Hemingway.  I read a couple of his books in high school, but didn't know much about his life until I angrily dove into Wikipedia while reading this novel.  His treatment of Hadley just made me furious, and it hurt me so much I texted my boyfriend Duke to vent about it!

So in retrospect, I'd have to give this book a favorable review, because I was so interested in the people and the time period, and I became so emotionally tied to it... but at the end of reading it, I didn't feel satisfied.  I wanted things to be different, and I'd hoped for something better in the end.  Instead, it just made me sad.

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