Confession – I haven’t read much of Earnest Hemingway’s work. A random line or two, and a lame attempt at reading The Green Hills of Africa. My interest, however, was recently rekindled in a round about way.
My sister recently read The Paris Wife for her book club then handed it off to me. Being in need of a good vacation read, I took it along on our trip at the end of August.
The book is historical fiction written from the point of view of Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson. It’s a fairly quick read and I keep describing it to friends as delightfully melancholy. Spoiler! The book follows the couple’s 1920s romance, marriage and eventual divorce. But I was drawn to the perspective of being a “life force’s” shadow in the form of Hemingway’s wife and how that affected both her and their relationship. Again, historical fiction but the facts are pulled from what is known about their relationship.
The book is worth a read and perhaps I’ll pick up one of Hemingway’s books now. Ok, I’ve added it back to the list, but not the top and slightly begrudgingly based on his actions as a husband. Perhaps I’ll start with A Moveable Feast (his memoirs of Paris with Hadley).
Since 2011 is the 50th anniversary of Hemingway’s death, there seem to be a few other publications being released about his life and loves. As I was walking past the corner bookstore last night, I also noticed another new release on the same subject. Paris Without End by Gioia Diliberto, from what I read in the shop window, is more of a non-fiction account of the couple as they traversed love and the Atlantic.
All in all, “The Paris Wife” is worth a read, but probably leans toward the female audience.
Now it’s back to the business books. Ugh.