A Book Review: The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife

I’ve had The Paris Wife by Paula McLain on my “Reading List” for nearly two years, but I finally got around to reading it while we were up at the cabin last weekend. So I can finally say, with conviction, that I loved and adored every page, sentence and word of this book. Joey might have me committed if I continue to talk about it. On Monday, I was so engrossed in telling a story about Ernest Hemingway that I didn’t even notice we were running up the torturous hill that usually kills me. Which was a good distraction for me, but it was probably just extra torture for Joey.

Although I knew from the beginning, middle and end that I was in love with this book, I had a really hard time putting it into words, so I decided to give it a few days to sink in. I couldn’t decide if it was the fact that I basically read it cover to cover with very few breaks and was therefore totally engrossed and transported into 1920’s Paris, or if it was Hadley (Hemingway’s first wife and the narrator of the story) and her endearing personality or the way she talked about the relationship between the two of them or if it was Paula McLain and the way she filled in the gaps of this real life story in such a natural and believable way or how she was able to end it all in such a heartbreaking, yet triumphant manner.

In the end, the answer is easy. It’s all of those things, of course. And so many more. I always say if a book is able to make me feel then it has my heart forever and this one made me feel so much. And I think I’ll leave it at that. Before you want to have me committed too.

What I’ve Been Reading

Joey has never been a big reader. I think he was halfway into an autobiography by Larry Bird when I first met him and I think he finished it like last year. I think.

Anyways, after hearing him say his problem was that nothing ever holds his attention, I suggested he pick up a thriller. Something along the lines of a Stephen King or a James Patterson novel. A month and 3 (very long) books, later, I find myself dating someone who’s always reading. Meanwhile, I’m playing around on my phone, letting my brain rot and wondering what is going on?!

But I guess I did finish a few books recently too, so maybe I’m just being dramatic.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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My favorite book. Favorite. I still remember reading it for the first time and being so so sad when I finished it. There’s nothing grandiose or life-changing about it. It’s just a cute little story about a writer from London who starts a correspondence with a literary club on Guernsey, an English island that was occupied by the Germans during World War II (the book takes place right after the war ends). The whole book is written in letters, which I love. The book is endearing, enchanting, heartbreaking at times and so so happy at others. Also, I find it incredible that the book was co-authored (mostly written by Mary Ann Shaffer and finished by her niece Annie Barrows after Mary Ann’s death) and yet, it is seamless. I just adore this one.

The Kite Runner

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Everyone read this already years ago, right? Okay, we’ll I’m behind on the times. I read this one while we were in Jamaica and turns out, it’s popular for a reason. It’s really good. I judge a book on its ability to make the reader feel. That, and a good plot, interesting characters and an author who actually knows how to write. The Kite Runner has all of these. It’s basically the story of two boys who are not only man and servant, but also best friends. I will say that the book definitely tugs at your heartstrings. At times, I was so mad at the main character and at others, I was so proud of him. I think this one is worthy of the hype.

Bel Canto

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Another vacation read and sorry Mom, but I was not a fan of this one. My mom and I usually align on the kinds of books we enjoy but this recommendation was a miss for me. It started out promising, when a group of politicians are taken hostage by a terrorist group. The remainder of the book details the relationships and bonds that are formed between the two groups. It’s very heavy on character development, while the plot slows to a crawl. I think this is what my mom loved about it and why I didn’t like it. One of the hostages happens to be a highly-acclaimed opera singer and I’ve heard that the book itself it supposed to read like an opera. You can’t like em all, I guess.

Happy Friday!

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Are you a big reader?

What are you reading/or read recently?

Do you have a favorite book/author/genre?