A literary take on fashion part 20

If you’re new to this books into fashion series, you can catch up with the others HERE.

Is this really the 20th set I’ve made?! Giving myself a huge pat on the back to be able to think of these many and continue reading! This installment for example, consists of a book I (and maybe everyone else) got to read a long time ago and another book that I just finished a few hours ago (and I was inspired to read it because of the first book).

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is quintessential and necessary classic – it’s one of those books you’ll be forced to read in high school and that you should revisit as an adult. And now that the new version of the movie has come out (which I haven’t seen yet but high on my to do list!), Gatsby and the roaring 20’s has exploded all over again! The book is simply about the love triangles of the haves and have-nots and how it all intertwines. It showcases the eccentricities and wastefulness of the rich, and really was an extension of Fitzgerald’s on personal life and his tumultuous life with Zelda (weren’t most of his works though?). Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby are brought together after many years apart, but Daisy is married. From the eyes of her cousin, we see how awful people can be. Then you realize, not much has changed.

Part of my reading goals this year is to read fewer ‘kids’ books and read more adult novels – so when I saw that the Paris Wife by Paula McLain was available for checkout without a wait, I jumped at the opportunity because I’d heard so much buzz about it. It revolves around the life of Hadley Richardson who was Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. Through her voice, we read about how they fell in love (and how he fell out of it). While The Great Gatsby was set in the USA, this book, as the title suggests, was mostly set in Paris. After great encouragement from a friend, Hadley and Ernest moved to Paris together so that he could break through with his writing. Hadley was a smart woman but feeble in many ways, you could say she would let Ernest step all over her, and that becomes more apparent towards the end of the book. She was dressing simply and in a old style while other women were embracing the flapper – in the book she often states that her and Ernest wore the same clothes. They spend their time together between Paris, but also following the bulls in Spain, and escaping to the snow in Austria. Little by little, everything began to unravel as Ernest began to burn bridges with his acquaintances and trying to live up to the extravagances of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound. Hadley’s own friend, Pauline became very involved in their lives, and then a little too involved. This book was absolutely wonderful but also heart breaking. It always makes me sad to read about what women always have to put up with.

What are your thoughts on either of the books? Reading the Paris Wife made me do little more research on Hemingway himself, and I didn’t even recall that he had killed himself later in his life (as several people in his family had), but that he had also remarried several times. It makes me like Hadley as a character and person even more knowing that she was the first wife of many.

PS. I threw this out there a few months ago, but if you’re interested in doing one of your own collages (you don’t have to be a blogger either!) just drop me a line at eli at thrifteye  dot com and we’ll work something out! :)