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Paris Wife (McLain) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
McLain's novel not only gives Hadley a voice, but one that seems authentic and admirable.... A certain amount of bravery is required in writing a novel that channels a giant of American literature. Yet McLain pulls it off convincingly, conveying Hemingway's interior life and his profound struggles. She makes a compelling case that Hadley was a crucial (and long-lasting) influence on Hemingway's writing life: a partner as well as a cheerleader. She also revisits, with remarkable detail, a singular era in history, one that would produce some of the greatest literary works of the 20th century.
Newsday


Novelist and memoirist Paula McLain traces the life of Hadley Hemingway, first wife of Ernest Hemingway, in this evocative novel set largely in Paris in the Jazz Age.
Christian Science Monitor


Written much in the style of Nancy Horan's Loving Frank ... Paula McLain's fictional account of Hemingway's first marriage beautifully captures the sense of despair and faint hope that pervaded the era and their marriage.
Associated Press


Engrossing and heartbreaking.... McLain is masterful at mining Hadley's confusion and pain, her crushing realization that she cannot fight for a love that has already disappeared.
Cleveland Plain Dealer


McLain smartly explores Hadley's ambivalence about her role as supportive wife to a budding genius.... Women and book groups are going to eat up this novel.
USA Today


By making the ordinary come to life, McLain has written a beautiful portrait of being in Paris in the glittering 1920s—as a wife and one's own woman.... McLain's vivid, clear-voiced novel is a conjecture, an act of imaginary autobiography on the part of the author. Yet her biographical and geographical research is so deep, and her empathy for the real Hadley Richardson so forthright (without being intrusively femme partisan), that the account reads as very real indeed.
Entertainment Weely


Told in the voice of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain, is a richly imagined portrait of bohemian 1920s Paris, and of America literature’s original bad boy.
Town & Country


Written much in the style of Nancy Horan's Loving Frank ... Paula McLain's fictional account of Hemingway's first marriage beautifully captures the sense of despair and faint hope that pervaded the era and their marriage.
Elle


McLain offers a vivid addition to the complex-woman-behind-the-legendary-man genre, bringing Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, to life.... The heart of the story—Ernest and Hadley's relationship—gets an honest reckoning, most notably the waves of elation and despair that pull them apart.
Publishers Weekly


Though eventually a woman scorned, Hadley is able to acknowledge without rancor or bitterness that "Hem" had "helped me to see what I really was and what I could do." Much more than a woman-behind-the-man homage, this beautifully crafted tale is an unsentimental tribute to a woman who acted with grace and strength as her marriage crumbled. —Margaret Flanagan
Booklist




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