October 17, 2011

The Lonely Wife

I just finished reading "The Paris Wife" By Paula McLain. I just happened to grab it on my way out of the library because it looked interesting. It is a fictional book about the non-fictional Ernest Hemingway, but written in the voice of his wife, Hadley. It's set mostly in the Jazz-age of Paris in the roaring 20's, when the city was essentially made into what we know it as today.

Beware lovestruck, pining women everywhere. This book is truly heartbreaking at the end, telling the real story of how the Hemingway's marriage was ruined by the Parisian society, Ernest's desire for success, and another woman. It seems that it was the thing to have a mistress in Paris, even in the 20's, and perhaps even today. It made me sick to my stomach to read Hadley's thoughts on her husband as she knew he was carrying on with another woman, especially when it was her best friend, and sometimes in the next room. She graciously granted him a divorce so he could pursue the other relationship. He did, however, offer Hadley all of the royalties from his book "The Sun Also Rises", which he wrote while married to her. Ernest later wrote, "I wish I had died before I loved anyone but her." After his fourth marriage, Ernest Hemingway eventually took his own life. It may be one of the best modern true-life love stories.

Probably not the best book to read while my beloved is at sea, thousands of miles away, with rich women all around him. But definitely a great read, especially for someone who is dreaming of Paris.


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