Monday, April 2, 2012

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

"We called Paris the great good place, then, and it was.  We invented it after all.  We made it with our longing and cigarettes and Rhum St. James; we made it with smoke and smart and savage conversation, and we dared anyone to say it wasn't ours.  Together we made everything and then we busted it apart again."

"Books could be an incredible adventure.  I stayed under my blanket and barely moved, and no one would have guessed how my mind raced and my heart soared with stories."

This book was #3 on my top ten list of 2012.

"If I can write one sentence, simple and true every day, I'll be satisfied" 
(Ernest Hemingway).

Set in 1920s Paris, the novel tells the story of Hadley Richardson, the first (out of four) wife of novelist Ernest Hemingway.  Hadley has "all but given up on love" when she meets Hemingway and is swept off to Paris.  Even though they are madly in love, the couple gets more then they bargained for when Hemingway finds himself swept up in the jazz age surrounded by drinking, women, and questionable morals.

Ever since I went o Paris a few years ago, I've loved the idea of "Paris in the 20s."  This novel captured everything I loved about the era and more.   The author does a wonderful job of tying in characters of the "Lost Generation" such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and the Fitzgeralds.  I loved the character of Hadley and felt for her as she struggled to fit into a new lifestyle.

Hadley and Ernest:

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