The Paris Wife

This week our Eating Between the Leaves Book Club met to discuss the first of our Paris inspired novels, The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain. Using published letters and research, the author tells the story of Ernest Hemingway's first marriage from that of his wife, Hadley. Through Hadley's eyes, we visit Paris of the early twenties and meet fascinating characters such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgeralds, Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound. Was their's a story of love or betrayal, or both? Was Hadley a victim or was her relationship with Hemingway her salvation? Our roomful of primarily women had some fun debating the true meaning behind Hemingway's claim, 'I wish I had died before I had loved anyone but her', along with how they might handle the rogue as their husband. As talk drifted from life in Paris and lamenting the lost art of letter writing, to running with the bulls, Barbara-jo shared with us a charming poem she penned about a special bull she left behind in Paris.

For dinner this evening, Chef Glenys Morgan took inspiration from another (more successful in marriage) Paris Wife, Julia Child and cooked up some delicious French classics from her seminal book, The French Chef Cookbook. We kicked of the evening in fine Hemingway form with martinis to toast Paula's achievement, perfectly accompanied by a Tartine of Duck Rillette and Salmon Souffle. Glenys worked her magic on Boeuf Bourguignon paired with a Salade de Saison. Poached Pears and Chocolate Sable added the finishing touch to a perfectly Paris inspired meal.

For those wanting to delve even further into Hemingway's life, we recommend the Hemingway project which also has an insightful article with author Paula McLain.