Had me at Hadley

Recently people have been telling me I should get into writing, and not just my family who loved my previous attempt at a blog and homemade greeting cards. People also say I read books like it’s my job. I personally think getting paid for reading books would be amazing, but am content right now to read books to escape from my job.  About the only thing I enjoy more than reading is talking about what I’ve just read. I enjoy critiquing books and either recommending them to fellow readers or banishing them to the paper shredder.  Don’t get me started on Bridges of Madison County. (Did you know there’s a sequel?! Gross.)  I have a lot of opinions. So my boyfriend scored major points when flippantly suggesting I write a blog about “all the freaking books I read”. (After mulling over the idea I went to tell him he’s a genius and found him eating an entire bag of beef jerky for supper while spelling out an emoticon on his phone cause he can’t figure out how to create a smiley face with punctuation.)

So it’s only fitting I begin my foray into writing about books with the book I just finished about writer Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, affectionately known as Hadley.  It was titled, “The Paris Wife”, and family, please don’t read anything in to this, but I will read any book with “Wife” in the title.  I don’t know what the fascination is.  Perhaps not being married myself I want to gain some insight, but constantly siding with the scorned wife probably isn’t getting me there any faster. The book also has a romantic aura about it to this self proclaimed book aficionado just by virtue of mentioning some of the greats like James Joyce, F Scott, and Gertrude Stein.  It takes you back to post-war Paris (read in a French accent) and who doesn’t love a great love affair?  It’s the stuff us gals dream about.  Guy loves girl, guy does something stupid to hurt girl, guy wins girl back with over-dramatic gesture of love … but wait, fighter and lover Ernest “Hem” doesn’t try to cover up his indiscretions and eventually leaves Hadley for another love. And then another. Gasp! And no, I don’t need to say “spoiler alert” when it’s a true story. Hadley is wronged as a wife on a number of occasions but all it takes from Hem is the use of a pet name or sob story about his war injuries and you’re right back in love with this quirky couple.  With a love this great it’s so easy to forgive and forget  … until it isn’t and it all comes crashing down.  Ms. McLain definitely has you riding the proverbial emotional roller coaster along with Hadley from page one to the back cover when you realize you’ve been crying for about 20 pages. My tear stains on the pages of your novel are this blogger’s equivalent of any prize winning award on the front cover. Two swollen, red eyes up.

So I’ve decided to take on more than I can handle and not only read a few books a month but write my thoughts about them too, for anyone who cares.  Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll turn into an Ernest Hemingway myself. But without the adultery and penchant for bar brawls.

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