We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Paris Wife Audiobook

The Paris Wife: A Novel

Regular Price:$28.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Audible Editor Reviews

If what they say is true — that behind every great man there’s a great woman — then Hadley Richardson is the woman behind Ernest Hemingway. In the novel The Paris Wife, Paula McLain traces their relationship from its frowned-upon beginnings in Chicago to its painful end in Paris six years later, and narrator Carrington MacDuffie brings a cast of historical characters out of the required reading list and brightly to life.

Hemingway was a journalist and aspiring novelist when he met Hadley in 1920, and after they married, they moved together to Paris at the urging of author Sherwood Anderson, who told them it was the place to be for writers. Over the next half-decade — except for one brief stint in Toronto after the birth of their son — the Hemingways lived, loved, and drank with everyone from James Joyce and Gertrude Stein to Ezra Pound and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (all of whom MacDuffie voices captivatingly). But though their relationship seemed rock-solid to even the closest members of their inner circle, outside forces slowly chipped away at the life they’d built together.

Hemingway spent the whole of his marriage to Hadley working on his novels — including some early drafts of the Nick Adams stories and the piece that would become The Sun Also Rises — and The Paris Wife lets the twin plots of his career and their marriage unfold. Hadley, who narrates much of the book, is a reliable and relatable character, and MacDuffie gives her the range of maturity, emotion, and strength that she undoubtedly had. The Hemingway connection may draw in curious fans and avid literature buffs, but her gentle voice and easy manner will keep listeners hooked. —Blythe Copeland

Publisher's Summary

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet 28-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. 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 and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises.

Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold onto her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually 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.

A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

©2011 Paula Mclain (P)2011 Random House

What the Critics Say

"The Paris Wife is mesmerizing. Hadley Hemingway’s voice, lean and lyrical, kept me in my seat, unable to take my eyes and ears away from these young lovers. Paula McLain is a first-rate writer who creates a world you don’t want to leave. I loved this book." (Nancy Horan, New York Times best-selling author of Loving Frank)

"After nearly a century, there is a reason that the Lost Generation and Paris in the 1920’s still fascinate. It was a unique intersection of time and place, people and inspiration, romance and intrigue, betrayal and tragedy. The Paris Wife brings that era to life through the eyes of Hadley Richardson Hemingway, who steps out of the shadows as the first wife of Ernest, and into the reader’s mind, as beautiful and as luminous as those extraordinary days in Paris after the Great War." (Mary Chapin Carpenter, singer and songwriter)

"McLain offers a vivid addition to the complex-woman-behind-the-legendary-man genre, bringing Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, to life.... The heart of the story - Ernest and Hadley's relationship--gets an honest reckoning, most notably the waves of elation and despair that pull them apart." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (2843 )
5 star
 (886)
4 star
 (1058)
3 star
 (611)
2 star
 (206)
1 star
 (82)
Overall
3.9 (2169 )
5 star
 (745)
4 star
 (765)
3 star
 (444)
2 star
 (150)
1 star
 (65)
Story
4.0 (2161 )
5 star
 (829)
4 star
 (773)
3 star
 (379)
2 star
 (113)
1 star
 (67)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Karen Chicago, IL, United States 03-24-12
    Karen Chicago, IL, United States 03-24-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific Listen"
    If you could sum up The Paris Wife in three words, what would they be?

    Love, sacrifice, determination


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Paris Wife?

    When Hadaly let go of her marriage.


    Have you listened to any of Carrington MacDuffie’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Her voice was amazing and sensitive. The building of characters made them real right in front of my eyes.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Knowing she would love him her whole life and letting him go anyway - courage and self-will.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 03-22-12
    Susan 03-22-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I thought I knew Hemmingway......."
    Would you listen to The Paris Wife again? Why?

    What a fabulous insight into this complicated man. The character


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Paris Wife?

    The revelation of the shallowness of Hemingway in regard to others in his life.
    His singular focus on himself must have caused his depression. It left him
    hollow, empty. So sad.


    What does Carrington MacDuffie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration is quite simply, PERFECT! The voice of Hadley makes all the difference,
    The emotion is so moving.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES! but I couldn't.


    Any additional comments?

    Fabulous shot of history from a different angle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Danna 03-18-12
    Linda Danna 03-18-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Distracting Narration"
    Any additional comments?

    I think it is probably an interesting book, but the narrator is terribly distracting and doesn't do justice to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail 03-13-12
    Gail 03-13-12

    Karen

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simple minded writing, not a great reader"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Paris Wife to be better than the print version?

    No.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I didn't really have a favorite character in the book--I didn't really get interested in them because there was little depth to them.


    Did Carrington MacDuffie do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I'm not a big fan of her rather pleading voice. I have heard her before.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Paris Wife and why?

    Hemingway's wife--the main character and the focus of the story. Why? Because she put up with him!


    Any additional comments?

    I stuck it out until the end, but the whole thing was pretty much a bore and a waste of time. I wouldn't recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon GLEN ELLEN, CA, United States 03-11-12
    Sharon GLEN ELLEN, CA, United States 03-11-12 Member Since 2012

    I am a lifelong lover of books. I got my degree in English & worked in the publishing business for many years. Now I work with wildlife.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    86
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An accurate portrayal . . ."

    When this book came out, I wasn't at all interested in reading it as it is a novel. It got very good reviews though and after it had stayed on some of the better best selling lists for about a year, I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did, as I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    I am a big Hemingway fan and have read all of his books as well as many books about him. This novel is a pretty accurate portrayal of this period in Hemingway's life. I think that of his four marriages, his marriage to Hadley was the best. I loved reading about their early days in Paris and all the famous people that they met. It was an exciting time for both of them and where his career really started.

    Carrington MacDuffie did a good job with the narration, although I did have a problem with the portrayal of Hemingway's voice. It was just too naive and innocent sounding. Although he could be immature and childish throughout his life I don't think his voice would ever come across quite like it did in this reading. Small complaint though as overall it was such a good read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Earlane M. Stanfield Queens, NY United States 03-05-12
    Earlane M. Stanfield Queens, NY United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2007

    ems comfy

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    270
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great read!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it to someone who is interested in turn of the century novels. Great Gatsbyesque.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Paris Wife?

    The death of hadley's parents.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When they made love before the wedding.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I love listening to books while cook. Poured myself a glass of wine and baked some zucchini bread, followed by some fritters and spaghetti Filipino style :)


    Any additional comments?

    Hadley herself is quite nondescript but everyone else brings the book alive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorraine United States 02-29-12
    Lorraine United States 02-29-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mildly Enlightening"

    This book was worth reading, but it won't stand out in my mind for the future. Learning what happens in the real world of standard artists is interesting to me. So if you like that too, and you like to compare the historical realities of former times to what is current, this is good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aurora Bethpage, NY, United States 02-24-12
    Aurora Bethpage, NY, United States 02-24-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enthralling and heartbreaking."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Paris Wife to be better than the print version?

    This is the first auditory book that has kept me interested. Until now I have found more comfort in reading a book. Ms. MacDuffie's reading of


    What did you like best about this story?

    The vivid details of a happy marriage and of its demise. Also brought back memories of the Paris I visited on many occasions.


    What about Carrington MacDuffie’s performance did you like?

    Outstanding. Well done!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Lockport, NY, United States 02-01-12
    Richard Lockport, NY, United States 02-01-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent fictional account of young Hemingway"

    Told from the point of view of Hemingway's first wife, this is an interesting embellishment on what we already know about Hemingway. Certainly the dialog is fictional, but it seems real and beleivable. Well read and very real.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas A. Morgan GROVE CITY, OH, United States 01-26-12
    Thomas A. Morgan GROVE CITY, OH, United States 01-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My First Audiobook Might Get Me Hooked"
    What made the experience of listening to The Paris Wife the most enjoyable?

    A wonderful narration of a marvelous story of unique people during a period when American culture began to awaken on the streets and in the cafes of Paris.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ernest Hemingway is another of those truly talented people whose success results in great part from those with whom he shares his life experiences.


    Have you listened to any of Carrington MacDuffie’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was my first, but she was marvelous!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I'm not the type to ever want to complete an enjoyable experience in one sitting. It's much better to savor the experience.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.