Paula McLain creates unique literary experience with “The Paris Wife”

Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez.

Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez.

I had another lit-filled weekend and I hope you all did as well.

Last Thursday night, I went to the premiere of Divergent to celebrate the end of spring break with my cousins. It was an action-packed feature, and I am impatiently anticipating Shailene Woodley and Ansel Egort’s roles in one of my favorite books. You guessed it: “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green.

Recently, I’ve turned my attention to an equally riveting read by Paula McLain called “The Paris Wife.”

 

 

The story revolves around a woman named Hadley Richardson, who experiences the excitement and emotion of literature’s Lost Generation. She was Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, and she lived through the beginnings of his career.

I like to think that the story is akin to a cross between historical tabloid and “Inception.” It’s by an author, writing about an author’s first wife.

Paula McLain has truly captured my heart with this first novel. As a budding writer and a romantic, the story is both insightful and fascinating. There are stories buzzing around constantly about struggling artists and bands of them sticking together and working toward success.

But, it was also heartbreaking. If you do not know Hemingway’s life story, and plan to read this book, I encourage you not to study up on him. That will make the reading experience much more fun.

McLain has a unique grace about writing historical fiction, which has encouraged me to read more of her work. She maintains an air of mystery about this character, as if this is the first Hadley Richardson to walk the earth, as if the story is brand new. Meanwhile, she stays true to the integrity of her life, and Hemingway’s career.

“The Paris Wife” is an excellent outside account of a writer, by a writer. I believe it is the perfect bookshelf addition for history and literature enthusiasts.

You can reach the writer at arabusa@asu.edu or on Twitter @marie_eo.