The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Ernest Hemingway had many wives throughout his life (4 to be exact), and this book is the fictionalized account of his first marriage from his wife's perspective. While we all know how this book is going to end (she is the first wife, after all), you easily get swept up along with Hadley and Ernest in their incredible European life during the Jazz Age of the 1920s. They hang out with people like Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein, spend months on extended vacations in the Alps and Pamplona, and live in a tiny Paris apartment above a dance hall. It all seems very romantic and adventurous, but under the surface of it all, Hadley has found herself married to a man who will always cherish and honor his writing and himself above his wife. It is truly heartbreaking to read the demise of their marriage in Hadley's voice. At book club, we had a fabulous discussion about talent vs. mediocrity and dependence vs. love. Not all of us loved this book, but I did! Definitely recommend.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The author picture at the back of this book shows a middle-aged woman, wearing a black cloak (in modern day times), grinning excitedly in front of Stonehenge. Imagine what that lady's ultimate romantic fantasy would be. This book is that. Basically, it follows an English woman named Claire, who lives in the mid-20th century, but suddenly and magically finds herself in the Scottish Highlands in the early 1700s. There are lots of red-headed people in this book, lots of Scottish accents, lots of talk of Scottish clans and tartans, lots of people almost dying, lots of journeys, and lots of lovin'. In fact, in just the last 20 pages I read one person's hand got nailed to a table and another person got attacked by a wolf and killed it with her bare hands. How could there be that much all crammed into one book, you ask? Easy. It's 850 pages long. And get this: It is the first in a series of 7. SEVEN. People apparently go nuts over these books. I'm not one of those people. I liked this first one, I just don't have any desire to read any more. It isn't really my cup of tea, but if anyone out there really loves Scottish history and/or ginger men in kilts, this could very well be your cup of tea. (Oh, and P.S. I'm still not actually finished with it. 95 pages to go. It's NEVER ENDING!)
P.S. Books I read in August, July, June,