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Customer Review

177 of 186 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Swell..., 28 Mar. 2011
This review is from: The Paris Wife (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Every now and again you pick up a book and it sings. For me, The Paris Wife is one of those books and I feel very lucky to have found it. Yet now, of course, I'm desperately sad I've finished it, in the sense that I don't quite know how to fill the gap it's left. I feel as if I've lost a lot of friends, good and bad, and I miss them, and the lives they led, now that the last page has turned. That's how good this book is. The action starts in Chicago where twenty-eight year old Hadley Richardson meets and falls in love with a younger man, a struggling writer called Ernest Hemingway. It's the jazz age, the start of the twenties, there's prohibition in America, and people say 'swell' a lot and 'it's a bust.' Written as a memoir, ostensibly (and very convincingly) by Hadley herself but actually by the author Paula McLain drawing on a host of reference works as well as her own glorious imagination, this is literary and social history at first hand, as well as a love story that raises the spirits and then dashes them down. From Chicago to Paris, skiing in Austria, bull-fighting in Spain, and summering on the Côte d'Azur, Hadley covers the tumultous few years of her short and bitter-sweet marriage to one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. Seeing everything through Hadley's eyes, and heart, what Paula McLain doesn't do - brilliantly - is make her story spin round Hemingway. This is absolutely Hadley's story, beautifully and sensitively rendered, with Hemingway just one of a large and glittering cast of characters - though the most significant - in her orbit. A glorious read from the first page to the devastating last few pages. Five stars just isn't enough.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Sep 2011 21:11:10 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Sep 2011 21:11:38 BDT
Nye says:
I agree with everything in this review. Having finished the book almost two weeks ago I still can't bring myself to download another....

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Sep 2011 11:40:00 BDT
Boot-Boy says:
Thanks for the endorsement, Nye. So good when someone agrees with a review. But the book really was a winner, wasn't it? I think, like you, I'm going to be waiting a long time for something as breathtakingly good.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Jun 2012 13:54:33 BDT
Bookworm says:
We must have read a different book . It promised so much and delivered nothing.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 19:07:38 BDT
Boot-Boy says:
I guess that's the glory of books - we all love different things. And long may it last...
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Boot-Boy
(VINE VOICE)   

Location: Gloucestershire

Top Reviewer Ranking: 16,588