Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Paris Wife

Nothing goes better with a fire and a good novel than a Blueberry Tea
It's Sunday and I just finished reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. I am hosting our reading circle tomorrow night and I wanted to remember as much of it as I could for our discussion.
I Loved it!
As we are planning a few days in Paris this fall, it was a really good book to read beforehand (hence the notebook in the background).  This novel is full of mentions of famous people and places in the city of lights and makes me want to read more about famous Paris expats of that time:  Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo, Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda, Ezra Pound and James Joyce...
 The book is written from the point of view of Hadley, Ernest Hemingway's first wife from 1921 to 1926.  She is the Paris Wife because most of the time they were married, they lived there.

The life that Hem and Hash fell into keep readers entranced with the magic of the city of Lights.  Paris was cheap in the 20s, artists could afford to drink at Les Deux Magots and eat at the famed Closerie des Lilas.  Hemingway and his like made Paris come alive for many of us on the other side of the pond.  This was the time of the Impressionists and Josephine Baker and Colette and Chanel... Escoffier and Sarah Bernhardt  had passed through and left an indelible mark on the city.

It is a novel about new and tender love, new frontiers and the fragility of relationship.  This book is worth the read even if it's just to have a glance at the man that was Hemingway in an era where a new American intellectual and artistic frontier was being established in Paris.

Ernest Hemingway summed it up well in his own words to a friend:

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”



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