I have always admired Ernest Hemingway's work.
I love his "to the point, no excess baggage"
style of prose.
I remember a college professor I once had
saying of Hemingway's style of writing,
"What takes Faulkner three pages to tell you,
Hemingway will tell you in one sentence."
THE PARIS WIFE by Paula McLain is fiction,
told from the point of view of his first wife, Hadley.
If begins with their first meeting at a party,
his wooing of her, her total adoration of him,
their marriage and then their
If you were creative in any way,
Paris was the place to be just after WWI.
What I liked about this book is its glimpse into
Hemingway's Paris years.
I like that the book references his conscious
efforts to hone his writing into his
characteristic terse style.
The book is also a name dropper,
and it was fun to read about Ezra Pound,
Gertrude Stein, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
These were all friends of the Hemingways' in Paris
and the book does a nice job of defining how each
mentored and influenced Hemingway's writing.
The book is also a domestic drama
about Hadley and Ernest's relationship.
Hadley is presented as a "plain Jane,"
somewhat out of place in the heady Paris,
but hanging on for dear life....
or should I say "dear Ernest?"
Ernest evolves into the total egocentric
we all know he was, and before long
has moved the soon to be, second Mrs. Hemingway
into his and Hadley's life.
I enjoyed this book and it has whetted my appetite
to read A MOVABLE FEAST,
Hemingway's own version of this story.