The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife

[a Novel]

Downloadable Audiobook - 2011
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A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness--until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group--the fabled "Lost Generation"--that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises . Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage--a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they've fought so hard for.

A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.
Publisher: New York : Books on Tape, 2011
Edition: Library ed
ISBN: 9780307877215
Branch Call Number: Online Audio Book
Characteristics: 1 sound file :,digital


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Aug 15, 2018

I recently reread Moveable Feast, which I understand better in my dotage, and so I decided to listen to the audio book version of The Paris Wife. The acting in this audio book is strong; the French is spot-on.

I have mixed feelings about the text, though. Chapters 2 & 3, the history of how Hadley and Ernest hung out in Chicago, contain a lot of gritty Chicago stories. I knew about Hemingway's Michigan connections from the Nick Adams stories, but I did not know all this Chicago stuff. Hadley wasn't Chicago-born; she was from St. Louis, but Midwest is Midwest. It feels right, Midwesterners feeling their way into Modernism, but the "romantic" dialog in this book is often cheesy, at least to my ear.

The ending when things really go to hell was goodish, probably because there was so little dialog and am now, for dessert, finishing up a reread The Sun Also Rises. This stuff is better as social history than literature I find, but I enjoy it.

ArapahoeMarcia Apr 06, 2018

A wonderful account of Ernst Hemingway and his time in Paris with his first wife.

Nov 10, 2017

Good narrator, I just never became involved, despite such high recommendations from friends at publication. Maybe one has to be a Hemingway fan.

Jun 11, 2017

very good

kchavez40 Feb 26, 2015

Good read. Very interesting about his life and how he was inspired. After reading this, I want to read more of his novels.

Mar 08, 2014

I would like to listen to this again someday.

bnotash70 Jan 27, 2013

loved it.

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