Raucuous laughter, perky bobs, husky jazz, clinking glasses, popping champagne bottles, eyes wet with cigarette smoke and joie de vivre. Parisian cafes in the roaring 20s were a magnet for aspiring writers and American expats: the striped awnings along Boul St. Mich brimming with ideas jotted down on wine-stained napkins, the bookstores down Raspail a hotbed of literary activity.
In this ebullient world arrive the newly married Hemingways: Ernest, hungry for success, and Hadley, his muse and first Paris Wife. Soon, the loose lifestyle, the pressures of publishing and the perverting company of the nouveau riches break apart the ‘it’ couple just they make Hemingway’s literary career. Hadley’s memoirs, as imagined by Paula McLain in The Paris Wife, provide an insightful counterpoint to A Moveable Feast, Hemingway’s own collection of vignettes about his formative years in Paris and the woman who would remain the love of his life.
For a sweet taste of Paris, linger over a richly buttered, flaky croissant, scrumptious double-chocolate crepes and an ultrastrong cafe creme chez Paul, watching the bateaux-mouches cast their early morning lights over the misty Seine.