I have always been a history buff. As silly as this sounds, I spent a lot of time at my local historical society as pre-teen and teen. So it’s never shocking to me when I am drawn to books with a historical edge, even if it’s fictional.
The thing about The Paris Wife by Paula McClain is that even though it’s technically fiction, it’s based on real people, real events and the real story – with some caulk to fill in the cracks.
I should say that I entered this read with the bias of thoroughly disliking Ernest Hemingway. I have never enjoyed his books (I await the hate-mail on that comment lol) and I found his behavior to his spouses and lovers deplorable. He always struck me as an arrogant egomaniac, and this book confirmed that for me.
Now Hadley? Well, she’s young and she’s clearly naive, but it’s really hard to like her either. I spent the majority of this read trying to figure out who irked me more – and in the end, it was so difficult for me to get through that I nearly gave up…
But it never got better!
This book has no HEA, which is fine. But it really felt like there was not even any closure for ANY of the characters. I won’t specific, but to me, everyone lost out in the end. And though that may be how things go in reality, the story just felt like it was going down hill from 2/3 of the way through – I gave up hope for this couple, and I don’t feel like I was far off. I mean, we aren’t talking a Jude ending, but it ain’t great.
So, in the end, I say read at your own risk. Let me know what you think.