The Paris Wife . review.

I just finished reading The Paris Wife, by Paula Mclain, told from the first person perspective of Hadley, Hemingway’s first wife. Aside from very few italic random third person omniscient narrative inserts, mostly about the affairs and spaces we couldn’t get to from Hadley’s mind, we stayed very close nearly wearing her perspective. I have been working doubles all week and yet still devoured the thing reading every free moment I did have and being instantly whisked away to another time and place entirely. I fell madly in loving with Ernest and Hadley and believed so feverishly in their love and although I ultimately knew how it would turn out for these two I couldn’t help but root for them the entire time. Painful,  true and remarkably delicious this book is far more than ordinary. Mclain received her MFA in poetry at the University of Michigan (ahhem) and it shows. Her prose is dripping with musicality and her choice of fine details is nothing short of masterly. She takes broad stokes covering entire sentiments with one solid moment, one breath, one stitch and I am right there the whole time. The sad truth of truth is an overarching and unavoidable current of the story. And that is so much what it is, a story. At the end we realize that this lifetime that has taken place between them is, as most things are, only a moment.

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