I do hope you are all loving this book as much as I am—or at least finding it as interesting. I realize that it is a work of historical fiction and, as such, is just one person’s interpretation of what might have happened between Hadley and Ernest, but it’s so romantic, isn’t it? It also humanizes someone who is such a mythic literary figure.
A quarter of the way through, I feel like Ernest is deeply in love with Hadley and she is completely swept up in him—after what was a pretty quick courtship. I’m no psychiatrist, but you can see why the two would have been drawn together. Ernest was raised in what seems to have been a big, pretty close-knit family, doing macho boy things like hunting with his dad. He also seems to have been blessed with a healthy ego (and good looks). That said, he suffered a serious blow to his body (in the form of injuries sustained fighting on the Italian front in WWI) and his ego (the Italian nurse who tended to his injuries eventually ran off with another guy) that no doubt shaped his character. He was ripe for falling in love. Enter Hadley.
For her part, Hadley had a cold mother who liked her sister better than her, a dad who committed suicide, and a calamitous accident that caused her family to baby her for years. And then her favorite sister died after being burned in a fire. Is it any wonder that she was ready to run away? But with their respective baggage you could see why there might be trouble to come.
For now, though, they are young, newly in love, and in Paris—sigh. I am curious to hear what you guys think. How accurate do you suppose the details of their relationship are? Do you think their relationship is even—or that one of them already has, for lack of a better term, the upper hand?
I’ll check in with you all again at the halfway mark. Happy reading!