Food For Thought #1: The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Posted August 26, 2013 in Food For Thought / 0 Comments

Food For Thought: The Paris Wife
Food for Thought is a feature I have created where, if feeling particularly inspired, I come up with 20 book club-type questions about a book.
Occasionally these posts will be used for contests.
If you see a question that you want to answer, go ahead! If you want to answer all of them, do it! Responses are welcome. If you wish to create your own questions, leave them (or post a link to them) in the comments! I might even answer them myself. (:

WARNING: This post might contain spoilers and it is probably best to proceed if you have read the book or don’t plan on reading it ever.
  1. Ernest really isn’t all that spectacular and at times kind of volatile. Why does Hadley fall for him?
  2. How does she complement his temperament? Would you be able to put up with him?
  3. How is Ernest so easily able to make the switch between being a carefree bachelor and a married man who does not often go after other girls (until later)?
  4. Who makes all the decisions in the relationship? After answering this, can you now take the other person’s side?
  5. How does their marriage differ from those around them, such as Pound and Shakespear’s, and Scott and Zelda’s? (I cheated and got this question from the Reader’s Guide in the back of the book)
  6. The beginning of this story takes place during the time of the Women’s Rights movement in America. How would things have been different if they had stayed in America instead of moving to Paris?
  7. How are Ernest’s views on things so drastically different from Hadley’s?
  8. Why does Ernest forgive Hadley for losing something very precious to him- all of the original manuscripts he had written save one? Does he truly forgive her?
  9. Do you think Hadley is good at balancing her time between her husband and son? How would you have handled it in her situation?
  10. Does Ernest’s newfound fame affect their relationship at all?
  11. Ernest has his mind on his work half the time. How is Hadley still satisfied with their relationship?
  12. Were Hadley and Pauline legitimately friends? (I also got this from the Reader’s Guide)
  13. Would you have been able to put up with Pauline as long as Hadley did?
  14. Could they have saved their marriage?
  15. How does Hadley change throughout the book, if at all?
  16. How does Hadley feel about Ernest after she marries Paul?
  17. Why does Ernest write about his relationship with Hadley in the last months of his life?
  18. If Ernest had left Pauline and decided to get back together with Hadley, would she have said yes?
  19. Would you have said yes?
  20. Lastly, what was your overall opinion of the book? If you haven’t read it, do you plan to? Why or why not?


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