What I am Reading: “The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLain”

I just finished reading The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLain. It is a fascinating (fictionalized) story of American writer Ernst Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, written from her point of view. I love when we as writers play with point of view in our stories.

I love how the author, Paula McLain, got the idea for this book. She writes: “The idea to write in Hadley’s voice came to me as I was reading Hemingway’s memoir, A Moveable Feast, about his early years in Paris. In the final pages, he writes of Hadley, ‘I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her.’  That line, and his portrayal of their marriage — so tender and poignant and steeped in regret — inspired me to search out biographies of Hadley, and then to research their brief and intense courtship and letters.” Now I’m going to read A Moveable Feast to hear the story in Ernst voice.

Besides being a totally romantic story, it was educational for my Inner Critic to learn in The Paris Wife how much Ernst Hemingway struggled as a writer particularly in his early days before he made it big as a writer.  If Ernst couldn’t write every day and went through zillions of drafts of his novel, I guess I can do the same and call myself a writer!

If I can go for it, you can too!  I’d love to work with you as a writing coach. Contact me.