I did not know much about Ernest Hemingway apart from the legends and I have never read any of his books so I came to The Paris Wife with a little bit of a blank slate - although I have to say my feminist ideals soon kicked in!
The Paris Wife is a fictionalised account of Hemingway's relationship with his first wife, Hadley Richardson whom he met in the United States as a young man and ended up moving to Paris with soon after their marriage.
The book is told mainly from the perspective of Hadley although there are a few small sections where Hemingway's voice speaks for himself.
Ernest and Hadley move to Paris in the early 1920's - the "Jazz Age" and they meet and befriend people such as Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Hemingway's obsession with his writing is evident from early on but it soon starts to intrude heavily on the marriage and we are able to see how it might have been for an intelligent, independent woman such as Hadley - as her wishes and needs always seemed to come second to the great author (although at that stage Hemingway was still establishing himself as the writer he would come to be known as).
I really enjoyed this book - I thought it was told in a way that captured my attention and kept it - it wasn't a book I wanted to be away from for long. And although my compassion tends to lean all the way in Hadley's direction in regards to the relationship between herself and Ernest I am very interested now in finding some of his novels and reading them for myself.