"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

-C.S. Lewis

What we read has such an impact on us, and I am always on the lookout for something that will inspire me to be a better person. Here is a sampling of books that have been in the teetering stack sitting on top of what is rumored to be my bedside table.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Paris Wife, by Paula McClain

     The Paris Wife is a fictionalized account of Ernest Hemingway's first marriage to Hadley Richardson.  I'm not a fan of Hemingway or his work, but the writer's life in 1920s Paris has always intrigued me.  The idea of Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and so many others in the same social circles is romanticized by so many.  And the story of the wife of Hemingway's youth, the first of four wives, piqued my interest.

     The writing style is plain.  It's a quick, easy beach read.  It's largely told from Hadley's perspective, with a few insightful passages from Hemingway's point of view.  Hadley is the woman who supported Hemingway both emotionally and financially while he started his career.  Their marriage lasted a little more than five years - hardly surprising for a man who was so troubled after the Great War.  But aside from the glitterati of the 1920s Paris writers' community, the story becomes about Hadley's ability to find her own strength.  In her childhood, she was encouraged to be weak, and a lot of that continued into her marriage up to a certain point.  Watching her growth  is very empowering for a woman.

     The book, while fictional, is very well researched.  It's a good summer read, and I can definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the time period or in Hemingway himself.  

Four out of Five Stars