After recently finishing “The Aviator’s Wife,” I came across an article listing several new books dealing with women married to famous men, who were overshadowed by their husbands.
Author Paula McLain’s 2011 best seller “The Paris Wife” sold more than 1.2 million copies. She says, “Book clubs like to have something to chew on.” Her novel gives the reader an interesting picture of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson. Paris in the 1920s, the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and wife No. 2 all made this a very successful book. Carol Fitzgerald, president of The Book Report Network, says that women buy a lot of books, and they are especially interested in “books about hidden women.”
Besides “The Aviator’s Wife,” three other novels set in 1920’s, will be on the shelves soon. “Z” by Therese Anne Fowler and “Call Me Zelda” by Erika Rosbuck deal, of course, with Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald. Widely written about, Zelda still fascinates readers. Additional interest in these books may be generated by the release of yet another film adaptation of “The Great Gatsby.” “Above All Things” by Tanis Rideout centers on George Mallory and his wife Ruth. Mallory was the British explorer who made three attempts to conquer Mt. Everest. On his last attempt, in 1924, he disappeared. The story examines Ruth’s struggle to deal with her husband’s obsession with the mountain.
All these books are love stories complicated by strong willed men who control and dominate the lives of their families.