It’s difficult to imagine the booklover who wouldn’t enjoy The Paris Wife (Ballantine), Paula McLain’s sad and searing look at Hemingway’s relationship with first wife Hadley. January editor Linda L. Richards reviewed the book in this space early last year. Wrote Richards:
McLain’s jazz age love story is perfect from the beginning. “The very first thing he does is fix me with those wonderfully brown eyes and say, ‘It’s possible I’m too drunk to judge, but you might have something there.’”
Of course, it’s not all wonderfully brown eyes and strains of jazz. You know going in that The Paris Wife is going to end badly. After all, before Hemingway killed himself in 1961, there would three wives after Hadley. The book concerns itself mainly with the five mad years the couple spent in Paris and includes the birth of their son, John Nicanor Hemingway (known as Bumby), who would one day grow to be the father of Mariel and Margeux Hemingway.
The paperback edition includes a reading group guide as well as all the delicious details of the original.