Discussion led by Pat Sellon
The Paris Wife is a 2011 novel by Paula McLain which became a New York Times Bestseller. The Paris wife is a fictionalized account of Ernest Hemingway's marriage to Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives.
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.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER—BEST HISTORICAL FICTION—GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY People • Chicago Tribune • NPR • The Philadelphia Inquirer • Kirkus Reviews • The Toronto Sun • BookPage