The Paris Wife, Paula McClain’s can’t-put-it-down novel of Hadley and Ernest Hemingway and the course of their brief marriage, was the clear winner this month. To be honest, I’ve already read this book, and I loved it—partly for its Jazz Age Paris setting, partly for its flip-side look at early Hemingway masterworks, but mostly because it’s a really good story with really good characters, the young Mrs. Hemingway foremost among them. I Googled a lot while I read because I wanted to see what Paris looked like in the 1920s, along with the Fitzgeralds and Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound and the whole cast of literary lights. Only toward the end did I come across the book’s official site. It was a gold mine of photographs, some of the Hemingways but mainly the author’s own snaps of the spots in Paris and Spain that she writes about—the cafes and the parks, the apartments and hotels and bars, that the Hemingways and their crowd frequented. I got a little thrill from knowing that so many of the places still exist and, yes, I’m romantic enough to think that the expats’ spirits still inhabit them.
Our August leader, Didi Gluck, Real Simple’s beauty and health director, will say hello a little later this week, and she’ll set up the reading schedule then. In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying The Space Between Us!