Published by Ballantine Books on November 27th 2012
Genres: Historical Fiction
Buy on Amazon
Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually they find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they've fought so hard for.
Overall, it was a story that made me want to keep reading for the most part. Only a few parts were a bit slow.
A theme was broken promises. That seemed to happen a lot. One thing I noticed was that there was little to no mention of the women’s rights movement. This was happening in the 1920s, so that would be a big thing, right? Hm. Also, I’ve heard he was a bit of a misogynist, but that was understated in the book.
Hadley: She was likeable, if a bit boring. She seemed pretty accepting and tolerant of a lot of stuff. Not sure why Ernest chose her, but I can clearly see why he decided to stay with her for as long as he did. She was a good rock, a good supporter of his work if not always his cheerleader, which brings me to Pauline.
Pauline: Nice enough at the beginning, but then a sly snake. I don’t know how she expected it to work, or for Hadley to be okay with everything. Of course she wouldn’t be, you’re stealing her husband! And something Ernest said was true: she and Hadley really didn’t have much in common besides the typical stuff. Only him.
The story grew progressively more depressing, so I knew the breakup was inevitable, although there were a few moments where I felt they might have had a chance. Sadly, they did split, after a few long torturous months of uncertainty. Anyhow, Hadley had a good rest of her life, while Ernest’s went on predictably. Hard to feel sorry for him after all that. But it was satisfying for our heroine Hadley. Now I want to unravel the mangled mystery that was Zelda Fitzgerald. I need something new.