Written By: Paula McLain

Narrated By: Carrington Macduffie

Date: February 2011

Duration: 11 hours 26 minutes


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.


  • Anonymous

    The book seemed to drag at times but it was just building the story to an ending so well done. The emotions involved were excellently written. I truly enjoyed this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Suzanne G.

    Interesting story. Not sure the reader’s voice and accentuations were as I would have imagined it.

  • Dianne L.

    Great book, learned a lot about Hemingway.

  • Anonymous

    Not sure why but I was depressed after reading this. He seemed to be a pretty miserable a good bit of the time. Not sure I will read the others. The wife was interesting and glad her life improved

  • Denise Sheppard

    I was excited about this book, but while the narration was great, I became bored with the long drawn out story. I usually press on, but gave up midway through.

Paris Wife: A Novel

by Paula McLain

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