After reading this book, I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed the experience. Like I said, I'm not a Hemingway fan by any means, but the research, writing, and flow of this story captured my attention and kept me captivated to the end, even though I knew going into it, that everything was going to end badly.
The story is narrated by Hadley Richardson, who is Earnest's first wife, and it starts out innocently enough. They meet in Chicago, fall in love, get married, move to Paris, meet a lot of very cool people like Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ezra Pound, have a baby, go out drinking and dancing, Earnest writes some things and gains popularity in the world of literature, and then Pauline weasels herself into the picture befriending Hadley and sleeping with Earnest, until it all becomes a tangled mess; then finally Hadley gains some courage and brains and leaves him.
What got me wasn't that Earnest had a mistress, but that he was so blatant about it. I mean there's this one scene where Pauline sneaks into Earnest and Hadley's bedroom and has sex with Earnest on his side of the bed, while Hadley "sleeps" on the other side. I'm all pro-whatever you want to do, but this seems to cross a lot of lines, even by today's standards. Then again by today's standards we have high divorce rates, the faces of marriage have changed (for the better), and we have shows like Jersey Shore and Cheaters, so I can't really be that surprised, I guess.
I also liked how Paula McLain handled Earnest's suicide. I enjoyed that she wrote some of this from his point of view, which gave me some insight into how unhappy he truly was at the end of it all.
Finally, I had the opportunity to go to The Hemingway House in Oak Park, IL. Our tour guide was very into the history of the Hemingway's, and gave us a lot of insights on Earnest's upbringing, his family, and his writing habits, which corroborated with a lot of the information in this book.
So, if you're looking for a good book club book, or just an interesting summer read that's saucy yet doomed, then you must pick up this book and give it a chance.
As for me, I'm still not a fan of Earnest Hemingway, but through reading [b:A Moveable Feast|4631|A Moveable Feast|Ernest Hemingway|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1356407015s/4631.jpg|2459084] and [b:The Paris Wife|8683812|The Paris Wife|Paula McLain|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1320545874s/8683812.jpg|13556031], I have come to understand him a bit better.