Paris in July continues with books and photos

I met V when she and her husband were living in the Cleveland area and the four of us became fast friends. E is from France, came to the US for college and was working at his first job after. V is from Belgium, met E on a trip to LA and married him. Jason and I don’t speak French and what little I picked up from them I’ve forgotten. We were so sad when they left shortly after their first daughter was born so that they could be closer to family, but agreed to visit them two years after they moved. I’ll share some Lyon pics, where we stayed with them for half of our trip this week, but didn’t want to keep talking about Paris without saying why we went in the first place. To be honest, I had no desire to visit the country (oh, how wrong I was!).

Jason and I were lucky enough to attend the French Open on our 2010 trip. I purchased the tickets for us (and our friends who met us in Paris) months ahead of time as a surprise for Jason. He was thrilled and it was a great day to watch clay court play. I remember feeling the pregnancy more that day than any other, sitting in the heat so long.

I listened to The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, although you can see I have a copy of the book. McLain is local and I went to hear her speak a few years ago and had this and another of her books signed. Here’s the recap of the fun event.

This book is about Hadley, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, and the time that she and Ernest lived in Paris. It actually started with their courtship in Chicago, but this is mainly about their life in Paris. I was surprised at how much I liked this one. Hemingway married four times, but this first marriage shows us the writer before his fame. The voices of both came through to show a marriage from loving beginning to sorry end.

Recommended for historical fiction fans, Hemingway fans, or those who like to read about history from a woman’s perspective. I admit that I’ve spent some additional time on the internet reading more about this fascinating family.

Any Hemingway fans? I’ve only read A Farewell to Arms. What about you?
Jules Verne, born in 1829 France, was a man ahead of his time. Often called the Father of Science Fiction, he merged science and literature and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea brought him international fame. He was a real visionary who loved adventure and writing. This book told a little about what he correctly predicted and what happened to his unfinished works after his death.

I’m not sure exactly how I’ve reached this age and never read one of his books.
What have you read by Verne?
I finally finished French Exit and am happy to put it behind me. I listened to over half of it and then switched to reading so I could finish it up an was surprised by how much more I preferred reading to book. Obviously the audio performance was skewing the characters for me.

Long story short, Frances, an eccentric widow, her grown son who still lives at home, and their cat who possesses the soul of her dead husband have lost all of their riches. They move to Paris and pick up a wide range of colorful characters. Something happens at the end and you’re done. I enjoyed some of the dark humor, but didn’t feel satisfied after I was done. I’m still not sure exactly what it all meant 🤷🏻‍♀️

The donuts are from my Instagram pic. I received the puzzle and the postcard on the same day 🙂

Visit Thyme for Tea for more Paris in July posts.

7 thoughts on “Paris in July continues with books and photos

  1. gulfsidemusing says:

    I enjoyed The Paris Wife several years ago… you might enjoy Hemingway’s A Movable Feast, too. French Exit is on my kindle, but I doubt I’ll get to it any time soon. Ugh.

  2. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz says:

    We chose to wander through the gardens at Versailles exclusively, so I’ve never actually been inside the building.

    I am interested in Hemingway enough to watch the recent PBS series about him. Very sad life.

    I wish I’d skipped French Exit. I ended up scratching other books by that author from my list.

  3. thecontentreader says:

    I loved the Paris Wife as well. It got me more interested in reading the works of Hemingway. I still have two biographies about him; one about his life and one about his four wives. Still to read. I enjoyed very the And the Sun Also Rises, The Old Man and the Sea, and A Moveable Feast. Less so A Farewell to Arms and his early short stories In Our Time. On my list is To Have and Have not and To Whom the Bell Tolls.
    I would have loved to go to the French open. Still on my list.

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