Saturday, February 04, 2012

2012 book 31

Paula McLain's The Paris Wife
Our book group decided this book--about Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson, and their years in Paris--should be its second selection, and I really wonder how discussion is going to go. I mean, it's a perfectly fine book and the mentions of various literary expats is interesting, but mostly it's just the story of a kind of depressing marriage. I mean, what are we going to say:

"I felt pretty bad for Hadley. "Yeah." "Hemingway was kind of a jerk, huh?" "Yeah." "I wished she would have left him earlier and not been such a sap." "Yeah."

I enjoyed this book but am more excited about the madeleines I'm making for discussion than I am about discussing it. B/B+.


Christina said...

The writing was really beautiful, but yeah, it's mostly just depressing and I spent the whole book waiting for the depressing stuff because of the weird foreshadowing thing at the beginning. I wish they had left that part out. Also, Bumby is the cutest nickname ever.

Alicia K. said...

Yes, I mean, even if you knew the marriage ended, unless you like Wikipedia'd it, you wouldn't know Pauline was a friend of theirs--so yeah, I also spent the whole book just WAITING for everything to go wrong. Great point that I will steal for discussion!

I also wished there was more about Paris and the other places they went! Only that Austrian ski lodge place felt interesting to me as a reader. I wonder if it was b/c it's all first-person narration, so we're trapped n Hadley's thoughts and don;t see as much of the world around her as I would have wanted.

Christina said...

The bullfighting stuff was well done, I thought, and the whole crazy 20's swinger artist scene was interesting. It was the kitchen table description of Pauline that ruined everything - I just kept waiting for the American friend who would sit at the kitchen table.