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Love and ruin : a novel
2018
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Martha Gellhorn (Female), Journalist, Married, Travels alone to Madrid to report the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War; falls for Ernest and gets married
Ernest Hemingway (Male), Writer, Married, Becomes a legendary writer after releasing For Whom the Bell Tolls
Genre
Historical
Fiction
Adventure
Biographical
Topics
World War II
Journalists
War correspondents
Relationships
Life changes
Setting
Spain - Europe
Cuba - West Indies / Caribbean / Latin America
Time Period
1937 -- 20th century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson, was the star of McLain's 2011 best seller The Paris Wife. Here, Hemingway's third wife, writer Martha Gellhorn, takes center stage. The 28-year-old Gellhorn meets the already legendary writer just as she achieves national acclaim, most notably from Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, for her heartbreaking field reporting on the human toll of the Great Depression. Ambitious and independent, Gellhorn travels with Hemingway overseas to cover the Spanish Civil War. Hemingway's second wife, journalist Pauline Pfeiffer, is home with their children as Gellhorn and Hemingway begin their stormy romance against the brutal backdrop of the devastating campaign waged by General Francisco Franco. Though they attempt to ignore their feelings for each other, Hemingway and Gellhorn eventually move together to Cuba, where they live happily and write productively for a time. However, Hemingway's jealousy and neediness soon begin to smother Gellhorn, who throws herself into her career, becoming one of the most important war correspondents of her era. January LaVoy's engaging but carefully paced performance is well suited to this fast-moving, atmospheric work, which does occasionally slide into melodrama. VERDICT Recommend to adventure fiction and travel writing fans as well as historical fiction readers. ["A must-have for all public libraries that should be a book group favorite": LJ 3/15/18 starred review of the Ballantine hc.]-Beth Farrell, Cleveland State Univ. Law Lib. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

McLain (The Paris Wife) strikingly depicts Martha Gellhorn's burgeoning career as a writer and war correspondent during the years of her affair with and marriage to Ernest Hemingway. The narrative begins when Gellhorn, who has garnered national recognition for her field reporting on the Great Depression, meets Hemingway and travels with him to cover the Spanish Civil War at his suggestion. The war both horrifies and inspires her to continue writing, particularly one traumatic moment when she witnesses a child being killed by a mortar. While in Spain, Gellhorn and Hemingway become romantically involved and then move to Cuba, set up house, and launch into a productive period of writing and publishing. Things go well for a few years, but Hemingway's neediness and jealousy eventually poisons their happiness and forces Gellhorn to choose between her own career and indulging his desire for a devoted wife. Realizing her true passion comes from on-the-ground reporting, Gellhorn decides to cover D-Day by leaving Hemingway and stowing away on the first hospital ship to land at Normandy, wading ashore to become the "first journalist, male or female, to make it there and report back." Gellhorn emerges as a fierce trailblazer every bit Hemingway's equal in this thrilling book. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn--a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century. <br> <br> In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in the devastating conflict. It's the adventure she's been looking for and her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. But she also finds herself unexpectedly--and uncontrollably--falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend.<br> <br> In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest's relationship and their professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man's wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that could force her to break his heart, and hers.<br> <br> Heralded by Ann Patchett as "the new star of historical fiction," Paula McLain brings Gellhorn's story richly to life and captures her as a heroine for the ages: a woman who will risk absolutely everything to find her own voice.<br> <br> Advance praise for Love and Ruin <br> <br> "Wonderfully evocative . . . [Paula] McLain's fans will not be disappointed; this is historical fiction at its best, and today's female readers will be encouraged by Martha, who refuses to be silenced or limited in a time that was harshly repressive for women." -- Library Journal ( starred review) <br> <br> "McLain has perfected her dramatic and lyrical approach to biographical fiction, lacing Marty's ardent inner life into electrifying descriptions of place and action. . . . McLain's fast-moving, richly insightful, heart-wrenching, and sumptuously written tale pays exhilarating homage to its truly exceptional and significant inspiration." -- Booklist ( starred review) <br> <br> "If you loved McLain's 2011 blockbuster The Paris Wife , you're sure to adore her new novel, which is just as good, if not better." -- AARP <br> <br> "Romance, infidelity, war--Paula McLain's powerhouse novel has it all." -- Glamour
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