Meandering Em's

Passion is books, photography, running and traveling. Also passionate about environmental issues.

The Paris Wife - Paula McLain I am not a fan of Ernest Hemingway, his books or his character. This book, although readable, did not change my opinion of him. I did learn a lot about his first wife, Hadley.This is a fictional version of the marriage of Ernest and Hadley. I've been told the historical facts are accurate, although the conversations, thoughts and actions as portrayed are fictional.The problem I had with the book was how the author portrayed Hadley as someone who thought she was lucky to be with Hemingway. The last line of the book is written after Ernest deliberately kills himself. She says that there was nothing anyone could do for her except to let her go "back to Paris and Pamplona and San Sebastian, back to Chicago when I was Hadley Richardson, a girl stepping off a train about to meet the man who would change her life. That girl, that impossibly lucky girl, needed nothing."Unfortunately, time had clouded her memory. Those times were not wonderful and she was not lucky. Her life with Ernest was not something I would want to have. The days in Paris were lonely and the evenings filled with booze and smoke-filled rooms. There was infidelity all around. Ernest had a nasty temper and ended up alienating most of his acquaintances. Ernest falls in lust with another woman and wants all three of them to live together in harmony. That is love!?!?The author portrays Hadley as pretty dense. I'll give just one example. Hadley describes Duff Twysden as "one of the wilder girls on the cafe scene. She drank like a man and told a good, filthy joke...She made her own rules and didn't give a ---- who knew it." Six paragraphs later, Hadley says, "She was well bred, but not fussy." WHAT? I would not consider someone well-bred who was wild, drank like a man and told filthy jokes. These kinds of comments drove me nuts. Either Hadley was really clueless or the author was.

Currently reading

The Waiting Years
Fumiko Enchi
Progress: 94/208 pages
Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock
Derrick Z. Jackson, Stephen W. Kress
Progress: 33/376 pages