Customer Reviews


26 Reviews
5 star:
 (10)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remember Paris?!
(...)Hemingway remains one of my favourite writers. I am not sure if Paula banked on Hemingway's work being cherished by millions when she selected the topic, I strongly suspect she did. And I dare say she was not disappointed, the book is a success.
I devoured it. Some of the critics I respect did not give the book too much credit because it hangs on so tightly to...
Published on Nov. 14 2011 by G. Petec

versus
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been exciting...
The Paris Wife is a well-researched fictional account of Ernest Hemingway's early years from the point of view of Hadley Richardson, his first wife (of four).

Before I delve into the review, a bit about me - I prefer reading non-fiction over fiction. Upon reflection, I think it is because prose can make or break a book for me and in my experience, more often...
Published on April 7 2011 by wabibito


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remember Paris?!, Nov. 14 2011
By 
G. Petec "Gia" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Paris Wife (Hardcover)
(...)Hemingway remains one of my favourite writers. I am not sure if Paula banked on Hemingway's work being cherished by millions when she selected the topic, I strongly suspect she did. And I dare say she was not disappointed, the book is a success.
I devoured it. Some of the critics I respect did not give the book too much credit because it hangs on so tightly to the reality of Hemingway's existence and depicts Hadley, his first wife, 'the Paris wife', as a weak melodramatic of sorts, who you sympathise with but also want to slap out of her misery. Finally, after five years of being in his shadow, following him around like a well trained puppy, she has the opportunity to do something for herself: the piano concert; she has everything prepared and a booked full house but she does not find the strength to go on with it because it coincides with the moment when Hem is leaving her. I expected Hadley to react differently up until one point when I realised she will not, that she will patiently let herself driven all the way through as long as Earnest would stand it. Then I tolerantly followed along and enjoyed the story and the times, the wonderful animated twenties. (...)
For the entire review go to allwords.ca
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been exciting..., April 7 2011
This review is from: The Paris Wife (Hardcover)
The Paris Wife is a well-researched fictional account of Ernest Hemingway's early years from the point of view of Hadley Richardson, his first wife (of four).

Before I delve into the review, a bit about me - I prefer reading non-fiction over fiction. Upon reflection, I think it is because prose can make or break a book for me and in my experience, more often than not, it breaks. Novels can be particularly prone to hollow voices, unconvincing dialogue and painful efforts to move a story along.

I think I could really have enjoyed The Paris Wife, but for the prose. It contained so much material that could be exciting subject matter for a novel: Paris in the 1920s, eccentric artists, bohemian values, travel, great love affairs, cameos by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and, of course, the giant personality that was Ernest Hemingway himself! I was so looking forward to reading about all of the above.

McLain is a good writer, so I managed to get through the novel, but despite the great many interesting events in Richardson and Hemingway's life, the characters and their circumstances never managed to come alive for me. Hadley's narrative, and even Ernest's voice, came across flat and boring. But, I do think many people will love this book - the reviews on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive. Maybe it is because I am not a big fiction reader that it didn't do much for me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Can you write with rose coloured glasses?, June 27 2011
This review is from: The Paris Wife (Hardcover)
The Paris Wife, I think was written through rose tinted glasses or maybe the pen and ink were rose tinted. I found the relationship not believable. The copious amounts of liquor they would reportedly consume, then come home and have articulate discussions does't ring true at all. I think there is a more brutal tale to be told, not one that I would necessarily want to read but one that would be nearer to the truth of alcoholism in a relationship. This book is chicklit.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating account, April 19 2012
This review is from: The Paris Wife (Hardcover)
I am so happy that I read this novel after watching Midnight in Paris because the film provided a level of background information that enhanced my ability to visualize the story, especially the setting. Plus so many of the literary icons, such as Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein, are featured in both the book and film.

The novel begins with Ernest and Hadley's courtship and subsequent marriage. Almost immediately, the reader is drawn right in to the brilliant atmosphere of 1920's Paris and the wild lifestyle of 1920's literati. One cannot help but fall in love with the character of Hadley, as she struggles between fitting into her husband's life, and maintaining a part of herself. Theirs is a life of glamour, of excitement, and of great friendships.

But when their son is born, the reader knows serious problems are imminent, as Ernest makes no secret about not wanting children at this point in his life. And when the character of Pauline enters the story we know it is only a matter of time until her affair with Ernest. After all, she later becomes his second wife.

I found myself stalling, not wanting to reach the end of the book and encounter Hadley's inevitable heartbreak. At the same time, however, the realistic account is too good to put down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Behind the scenes of a famous marriage, Nov. 7 2012
By 
This review is from: The Paris Wife (Hardcover)
Really enjoyable look behind the scenes of a marriage from a previously unknown point of view. In this book, we get to hear what a jerk Hemingway was to his wife, from his wife. I loved the voice of Hadley Richardson and also the time and place in which the novel takes place - Paris in the 20's. Lots of great famous people cameos in their lives.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Set in Paris...I'm in., Nov. 24 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Paris Wife (Paperback)
I just simply love anything Hemingway and for that reason alone this is worth the read. It is a well written but not brilliant novel about Hadley Richardson's marriage to Hemingway in the 1920s. It is a tragic account of tormented love and the abuse Richardson survived living with the complex and self-destructive Hemingway. The reader is drawn into the interior life of the often rejected Hadley while her talented husband finds love and lust in the arms of many other women including the one he finally leaves Hadley for: the seductress Pauline Pfeiffer. I had a hard time understanding Hemingway as lovable so therefore could not relate to Hadley's despair at losing him. The novel is generally well written but does an injustice, in my estimation, to its main character Hadley. It makes her out to be a little thick and frumpy and absolutely lost without her man. I'm quite sure there was more substance to her that the author cares to divulge.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written TRUE love story, May 25 2012
By 
little lady blue - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Paris Wife (Hardcover)
As it happens I learned a great deal about Hemingway albeit from the perspective of another person - his first wife Hadley who clearly loved him totally & completely & he her. To be able to see Hemingway through her eyes we are afforded a rare glimpse into the man, his loves, his passions, his fears, via the woman who spent those very early years with him long before he became Hemingway - the American icon. Who better to show us the real man as she knew him.
I believe that Hadley knew Ernest better than anyone else in his entire life.
Liking Ernest or Hadley is not the question - if this is who they were then so be it. This is a true love story for the ages, warts & all!
This is a beautifully written book & while I am aware that it is fictionalized I believe it was properly researched & have a hard time seeing how it could have been any better.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for book club discussion, June 11 2013
By 
Diane M. Schuller "bythesea" - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Paris Wife (Paperback)
I likely would never have read this book had it not been a selection for our book club. I'm so glad I did read it, however. I knew very little about Ernest Hemingway and absolutely nothing about his first wife Hadley, who is the central protagonist in this novel. McLain gave the reader such an interesting insight into the lives of these two, particularly Hadley. But she also gaves us a vivid picture of life in Paris in the 1920s in terms of the bohemian / artistic lifestyle.

I won't go into the plot because there are literally thousands of reviews online that do that for you. McLain's writing is clear, insightful, and she wove a wonderfully researched novel that made for some interesting and animated conversations in our book club.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing..., June 23 2013
By 
C8 Sparrow "beach reader" (Edmonton, Alberta Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Paris Wife (Paperback)
This story swept me away to the streets of Paris. I became entrenched in the life and love of these two very complex people, Ernest and Hadley Hemmingway. When Ernest wasn't a boorish narcissist he was a loving husband and father. Hadley stood by her man, even through a painful and public affair. My heart ached for her in her desperation to hold onto the man she adored. But when she finally arrived at the resolve to break free from his orbit, I cheered. In spite of the years that passed between them they never stopped loving each other. The author tells the story in rich and lasting prose. I savoured the last few pages - reserved them for a quiet moment - closed the book and wept.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, Nov. 14 2011
This review is from: The Paris Wife (Hardcover)
Highly recommended for anyone interested in Hemingway, or historical fiction. Provides a great account of 1920s Paris. This book made me fall in love with Paris and the 1920s!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Paris Wife
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (Hardcover - Feb. 22 2011)
CDN$ 29.95 CDN$ 18.77
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews