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Showing 1-10 of 110 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 128 reviews
on July 20, 2017
This book haunted me from the first page, and I fell in love with Hadley Hemingway, And I was most unhappy with Hemingway, he fell from his pedestal and lost his halo. I strongly recommend this book to any Hemingway follower. Some may think it a "woman's" book. Not so, it is a carefully woven story of two people who had it all, and tossed it away. As the story is told, Hadley accidentally loses Hemingway's original manuscripts, a heinous crime he could not forgive. Reader, judge for yourself, was he right, did she commit the unforgiveable sin of taking away his life work?
Read it and see.. .
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on January 7, 2017
I am a fan of Hemingway for years and recently started to read his biographies and related books such as this. This is an excellent and thoroughly researched book that adds dimensions to Hadley Richardson not illuminated by other books I have read. It also shows the deep love that she shared with Ernest for their entire lives. I agree with the author and some of the critics mentioned in the book that Hadley was Hemingway's muse, and that his best work was done during his relationship with her.
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on April 15, 2017
While it took several seatings to finish, the story of Hadley and Earnest was a true love story. Although, it was nominally about Hadley, the reader is introduced to Hemingway, the man as well as the writer. It was also fun to vicariously experience the life of an expatriate in Paris during the 1920's. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story as well as a biography.
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on January 24, 2014
When I first read Hemingway's "A Moveable Feast," I was engrossed by his early writing years in 1920's Paris and completely captivated by his wife Hadley. I wanted to learn more about the woman Hemingway never forgot. Author Gioia Diliberto does an excellent job in introducing Hemingway's first wife. Based on letters, research and tapes between close friend Alice Sokoloff and Hadley, this book gives the reader an inside look at Hemingway through the eyes of Hadley. But more importantly, the reader gets a good look at Hadley herself, an interesting pensive woman and literary muse. She was in many ways a modern woman who appreciated being treated as an equal in her relationship with Ernest Hemingway. The first part of the book spends a lot of time on Hadley's family background and runs a little on the long side. It doesn't get juicy until Hadley and Ernest meet, marry and travel to Paris to live as expatriates in the 1920's. Before boarding the ship from New York to France, Hadley cuts off her long red hair, a symbolic way of cutting ties to her Victorian past. Sporting a"bob" considered a shocking statement of independence in 1922, Hadley embarks on an exciting future with Ernest in Europe. Their arrival to Paris, just days before Christmas is nostalgic and the young couple soon adapt to long days with Hemingway at the typewriter, walks on the left bank, window shopping, cafes and a simple way of life. Their relationship was one of mutual respect, affection and passion and the reader gets insight into Ernest Hemingway the man, and how much he depended on Hadley. He relied on her approval, her emotional support and the reader gets a glimpse of a genuine loving marriage. Diliberto transports the reader to another time often in Hadley's voice to feel their struggles, their joys,and their experiences. This book flows like a good piece of fiction, only better because it is a true story. The chapter in which Hadley loses Hemingway's original manuscripts on a train enroute to see him, is vivid and tragic in many ways. Hadley is inconsolable and Hemingway does his best to hide his despair. The reader is treated to Hadley's conversations with Hemingway, observations of various artists living in Paris and memorable events that lead to the unraveling of their marriage. "Paris Without End: The True Story of Hemingway's First Wife" made me realize how special Hadley was as a person and what an influence she was to Hemingway. Like Gertrude Stein, Hadley read early drafts and everything Hemingway wrote and presented to her. Hadley's presence is found in Hemingway's writing with excerpts from her conversations with him (as in his book A Farewell to Arms) "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places." Hemingway's female protagonists also show hints of Hadley's inspiration. "Paris Without End: The True Story of Hemingway's First Wife" is a touching and compelling read I couldn't put down. It is a love story that never ended.
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on April 8, 2015
I've never been a Hemingway fan, so maybe that colors my review, but I think I find him more interesting after reading the story of his first wife. The story of Hadley Hemingway is a fascinating one. Hadley was woman from a middle class midwest home who married a great American writer. She was 8 years older but had lived a sheltered and repressed life into her 20's. Their time together in the 1920's was full of adventures, travel, and poverty. It's probable that Hadley had an important effect on the writer's work. Though only married a few years they remained in touch all their lives. If you are interested in the life of those near to the great who are unique individuals in their own right, and the American expats in Paris after WWI, you'll enjoy the book.
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on July 19, 2012
This is a phenomenal, well-written look at a part of Hemingway's life that has been cast in the shadows of time, the story of Hadley and Ernest. It reveals more than just the personal relationships of the two people but is a reflection of the mad scramble for a taste of Paris by writers and artists and the wanabees, commingled with serious, down-to-earth work and abandoned, reckless play. This provides an insight into the young Hemingway and how it came to be that his expectations for himself worked for and against him in a double-edged manner. Hadley had an important role in his life and work. This book reveals the importance of letters of introduction -- they came in handy when on a low budget!
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on November 22, 2012
This little book is a wonderful addition to the many, many others written on the life and adventures of Hemingway. Diliberto captures the time periods of St. Louise, Chicago, and Michigan of the early 1920's very beautifully and effectively. She describes enough background for the characters of Hadley and her family to give a true picture of the people, the conflicts, and heartaches to put the reader right at the scene. She does an even greater job with the European context and period. You see sides of Hemingway that you might not have noticed from other biographies. And Hadley Richardson is fully presented as an accomplished musician and woman in her own right; but of course the over-size peronality of Ernest overshsadows her. And all this is done by Diliberto with finesse and tact and even love and sympathy for both parties. The best part of the book is that no matter how much you think you knew about the life and the first marriage of Hemingway, you will still come to learn and appreciate much more from this well-researched study.
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on November 18, 2012
This well-documented story is a wonderful complement to "The Paris Wife", story of Hemingway's first marriage with the famed writer as the centerpiece. Reading it fills in the picture of Hadley Richardson's life before she met Ernest Hemingway, and explains her eagerness to keep up with her husband, who was 8 years her junior, and to enjoy every minute with the larger-than-life writer in Paris and elsewhere. It also elucidates how her traditional background kept her feet on the ground while her husband was lionized and puffed up by the Paris crowd of admirers. Sadly, his betrayal of her and their son ultimately eroded his self-respect, and certainly contributed to his eventual suicide. A remarkable and gripping story.
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on May 1, 2013
Diliberto didn't seem to have a bone to pick with any of the people involved. The portrayals of all concerned seemed fair yet sympathetic. The biography left me wanting to read more about Hemingway's other wives. I read a sample of THE PARIS WIFE and found Diliberto's biography a much more engrossing account than the novel, which has received a lot of attention.
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on March 29, 2015
This is the other side of Hemingway's life in Paris told from the author's view of Hadley, Hemingway's first wife. From tapes Hadley made before her death and with interviews with their son, Dilibento shows the betrayal and eventual divorce. At times the couple seemed totally immature (trying to grow their hair in the same style; at other times crazy (leaving a cat to watch their sleeping baby). For Hadley it was a devil-make-care life full of adventure she never imagined. No matter how he hurt her, she felt her life with Hemingway was wonderful.
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