The Paris Wife.

I used to read a lot more. Every night, in fact. I was constantly buying new books, or downloading them onto my iPad. It was a nightly ritual. One that was replaced by late work nights, and trying to stay awake long enough to Skype with my husband before crashing.

No reading for me.

Now though, with a better sense of balance in my life, I am able to read each night before bed... Which is wonderful to get back to. And the first book I picked up to get back into my ritual was The Paris Wife.



It's not quite "historical fiction." But it's not necessarily a completely accurate account of what happened between Ernest Hemingway and his first wife's years in Paris as he began his novel career.

It takes a peak at the relationship between Hemingway and Hadley Richardson as they courted, married, moved to Paris, traveled, had a child and Hemingway wrote his first hit, "The Sun Also Rises." You encounter the "charmed circle" of characters they were known to run with while in Paris (Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound), and see how their relationship shifts as Hemingway develops his craft and Hadley tries to hold on to her place as his wife, friend and confidant.

I loved the book. However, I found myself actually sympathizing with Hemingway through parts of it. Not to say that he isn't a complete cad at times. For me, I identify with Hemingway's inadvertent desire for the unconventional life. He doesn't lead a crazy life. He does lead a passionate one, though. Hadley, however, doesn't always fit in with that passion. You sense that he loves her very much. But the two can never find a compromise between the stability and type of love she craves, and his desire be great.

Highly recommended.