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 (3169 )
5 star
 (1047)
4 star
 (1156)
3 star
 (657)
2 star
 (217)
1 star
 (92)
Overall
3.9 (2455 )
5 star
 (886)
4 star
 (857)
3 star
 (478)
2 star
 (161)
1 star
 (73)
Story
4.0 (2449 )
5 star
 (991)
4 star
 (858)
3 star
 (404)
2 star
 (120)
1 star
 (76)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Sherry Londonderry, NH, United States 09-21-12
    Sherry Londonderry, NH, United States 09-21-12 Member Since 2004

    echomeier

    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Melodramatic narration"

    I could never immerse myself in the story. The overly dramatic narration was tedious and distracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary white plains, ny, United States 09-18-12
    mary white plains, ny, United States 09-18-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    133
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Does not hold a candle to Hemingway"

    I loved "A Moveable Feast" Hemingway's reflection on this time in Paris with his first wife. Unfortunately this revisionist story lacked a feeling of authenticity. I imagined Hadley having much more depth than this fictionalized version portrays. The story just did not work for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kathleen CAMPTON, NH, United States 09-12-12
    kathleen CAMPTON, NH, United States 09-12-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hemingway history"
    What made the experience of listening to The Paris Wife the most enjoyable?

    The reader's tone was soothing.
    I enjoyed knowing that this was a fact based story.


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

    she was able to pronounce the french words beautifully were as I would have had to skip over them.
    When reading dialogue she had great intonation and rhythm. I felt like I was listening to people from the 1920's ,


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

    no. I wanted to savor it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary United States 09-10-12
    Mary United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2010

    Mary Liechty Adams

    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting Spin!"

    Interesting character development and portrayal in this historical fiction piece. As in life, parts of this story get protracted and a little dull. As well, there are some wonderful parts!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather 08-28-12
    Heather 08-28-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved It!!!"
    What did you love best about The Paris Wife?

    It was exactly what I thought it would be and more.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love Hemingway and the the way the story was told about him from Hadley's experience.

    True to the lives of them both.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Richfield, Minnesota, United States 08-18-12
    Kimberly Richfield, Minnesota, United States 08-18-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "it was good until..."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I very much liked the beginning of it but I did not finish the book. There is a point (where I have seen through multiple reviews) where one loses interest and doesn't care any more about the main character. I got hit by this spot too.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Gone, girl


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-27-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "20's Europe escapade"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Paris Wife to be better than the print version?

    yes: close your eyes and the colors and descriptions make for a wonderful being-there experience


    What did you like best about this story?

    The insight into the artist-life in Paris in the 1920's
    The introduction to the personage of Earnest Hemmingway in a very intimate manner


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

    no


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

    no! it was great to have time to mull over the different parts of the story and let them be part of my life


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn 07-25-12
    Carolyn 07-25-12

    Curious, searching avid reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    42
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable perspective of Hemingway's time"

    Well written and performed about a fascinating time in American/European history with tidbits about famous artists of that era. Too bad audible books aren't accompanied by photos that would deepen the experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Loren Pospisil Austin, Texas United States 07-25-12
    Loren Pospisil Austin, Texas United States 07-25-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hemingway from his wifes perspective!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I've read a lot of Hemingway, but having his stories re-told from a woman's perspective was brilliant.


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

    Yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N.C. reader 07-23-12
    N.C. reader 07-23-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "this is a novel that reads like a memoir"

    I enjoyed reading about post WWI life in Europe. Even though this is a work of fiction,
    I felt that I learned much about Ernest Hemingway and the writers of that era.

    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.