Meet the Sullivans: A Good Read: The Paris Wife

April 15, 2013

A Good Read: The Paris Wife

The Paris Wife is so beautifully written and made me feel like I've traveled back in time to Paris in the 1920's, something like what Owen Wilson's character did in Midnight in Paris. 

I don't know who first recommended this book to me, but I had heard so many good things about it, and now I know why--it was a great read! The story takes place in Paris in the sizzling, roaring 1920's. The book is narrated by Hadley, Ernest Hemingway's first wife. The book tells the story of how they met, married and how their marriage eventually fell apart.

The characters are all troubled and flawed artists (Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald are so intriguing to me--they're like watching a train wreak), but Hadley is so genuine and "true" (Ernest words, not mine) and you want to help her or protect her because you just know her surroundings are going to destroy her. Reading the book reminded me of listening to a friend talk about her asshole boyfriend (no one in particular--purely a generalization we've all been in) and you just want to tell her to leave him.

You know from the beginning of the book (in the Prologue) that their relationship is doomed, but you keep reading, because you feel as though you have to find out and you hope that maybe everything will be alright for them. You'll really wish it would be, for Hadley's sake at least. If you've had this on your list of books to read I would definitely pick it up soon! I haven't been so into a book since I read The Help years ago.

There is nothing like the great feeling you get after finishing a really good book. I always want to be able to read a sequel or continue the good reading I've just experienced. And so, I was so happy to find the next book on my To-Read list (are you on Good Reads? If so, follow me so I can follow you and see what you're reading!) which I'm dying to start!

 Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Here is the description if you're interested:

" I wish I could tell everyone who thinks we’re ruined, Look closer…and you’ll see something extraordinary, mystifying, something real and true. We have never been what we seemed.

When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is seventeen years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the “ungettable” Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner’s, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take the rest as it comes.

What comes, here at the dawn of the Jazz Age, is unimagined attention and success and celebrity that will make Scott and Zelda legends in their own time. Everyone wants to meet the dashing young author of the scandalous novel—and his witty, perhaps even more scandalous wife. Zelda bobs her hair, adopts daring new fashions, and revels in this wild new world. Each place they go becomes a playground: New York City, Long Island, Hollywood, Paris, and the French Riviera—where they join the endless party of the glamorous, sometimes doomed Lost Generation that includes Ernest Hemingway, Sara and Gerald Murphy, and Gertrude Stein.

Everything seems new and possible. Troubles, at first, seem to fade like morning mist. But not even Jay Gatsby’s parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous—sometimes infamous—husband? How can she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott’s, too? With brilliant insight and imagination, Therese Anne Fowler brings us Zelda’s irresistible story as she herself might have told it. "

I'm off to start my new book!


Dawn said...

Thanks for posting! I'll have to read this- sounds good! Looks like we have the same interests in books! The Help is one of my all time favorites and I also read Sparkly Green Earrings- LOVE and just started Gone Girl! I'm going to check out the Good Reads site!

Michelle said...

I really enjoyed the Paris Wife also, i'll have to check out the other book!

Natalie said...

I read The Paris Wife last year and really enjoyed it!

Breanne said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I've just put this on my "To Read" list!