Friday, August 31, 2012

The Paris Wife

I've always loved fiction and poetry which gives voice to interesting, often voiceless, historical characters and imagines their most private lives.  So it's no surprise that I enjoyed Paula McLain's The Paris Wife:  a story told from the perspective of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway's first wife.  Though written as fiction, the author does her research and mostly accurately traces the lives of this couple from their first meeting, through their time in Paris, and long after their divorce.  There's a lot here that's spot on, and that makes the fictional intricacies of their story all the more believable.  McLain imagines all that we may not glean from biographies, letters and interviews:  the interior monologues, the feelings, the juxtaposition of a solid, supportive woman living in Paris with a man as temperamental and eccentric as Ernest Hemingway.  Enjoyable and engaging, even for those who know nothing of the great American author.

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