The Paris Wife - Paula McLain

The Paris Wife

Author: Paula McLain

  • Publication Date: 2011-02-22
  • Category: Literary
4 Score: 4
(From 3,544 Ratings)


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A beautiful portrait of being in Paris in the glittering 1920s—as a wife and as one’s own woman.”—Entertainment Weekly
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures the love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Look for an excerpt from Paula McLain’s captivating new novel, Love and Ruin, about Hemingway’s third wife, Martha Gellhorn.

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. 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 Fitzgerald.
Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually they 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.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY People • Chicago Tribune • NPR • The Philadelphia Inquirer • Kirkus Reviews • The Toronto Sun • BookPage

“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

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

Lyrical and exhilarating . . . McLain offers a raw and fresh look at the prolific Hemingway. In this mesmerizing and helluva-good-time novel, McLain inhabits Richardson’s voice and guides us from Chicago—Richardson and Hemingway’s initial stomping ground—to the place where their life together really begins: Paris.” —Elle


  • TheParis Wife

    By piddlelynn
    Interesting book!
  • Triumph of Non-Fiction

    By SarahSchreck
    What an enjoyable ride, with all of the ups and downs one may expect. A modest yet ever-interesting narrator with strength and humanity is up against the unimaginable odds as the wife of someone like Hemmingway. Beautiful language kept me learning, the humanity kept me reading. I leave, slightly more brokenhearted but certainly fulfilled.
  • Beautiful book

    By Gitmogal
    I read Circling the Sun first and loved it. The Paris Wife was also a great read that had me again on page 1 . I cannot wait to read her earlier work and hope her next work is already taking shape and not just an outline, She knows to tell a good story.
  • PW review associated on this page is not for this book

    By FrankieQ
    Correct the review from Publishers Weekly please
  • Slow but deep

    By JC3946
    I found this book a bit slow - so much so that I would go for weeks without picking it up in between chapters. However, at the same time I found it a deep and thought inspiring book and would recommend it to anyone with the patience for a very detailed and in depth book.
  • Paris Wife

    By Dweeb 1
    Great book. Enjoyed it tremendously. I particularly could identify with Hadley as Ernest began his affair with Paulette. Having gone through the same thing in my marriage. I don't think Ernest would have been successful without her. He seemed to take the best of her and then her best wasn't good enough he let her go. I will certain,y read some of her other books. Linda Yagodzinski
  • The Paris wife

    By wutsabii
    Amazing book
  • Different for me

    By I wish I found it sooner
    Not my typical read, although it was a good read. I'm more interested in Hemingway's life now. Thank you for the suggested books.
  • Not the "Sad" Wife

    By Fpiano
    I've often thought that Hadley seemed strangely absent in biographies of the outsized Hemingway--a little sad. This novelization of her story does flesh her out some and shows qualities that drew her to Hemingway in the first place. The 20's in Paris, the talents (some spinning out of control) the Bohemianism were not exactly the place for sensible, supportive Hadley but Hemingway certainly seemed to need her at that time in his life.
  • Still get emotional when I think of Hadley

    By MichelleFay
    Very moving, gripping, and relatable in a seemingly unique time