Monday, May 26, 2014

Mrs. Hemingway

Title:  Mrs. Hemingway
Author:  Naomi Wood
Publication Information:  Penguin Books. 2014. 322 pages.
ISBN:  0143124617 / 978-0143124610

Book Source:  I received this book through a publisher's giveaway free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Favorite Quote:  "What a pull he has! What a magnetism! Women jump off balconies and follow him into wars. Women turn their eyes from an affair, because a marriage of three is better than a woman alone."

Ernest Hemingway over the course of his life was married to four women - Hadley, Pauline, Martha and Mary. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain tells the story of his first marriage to Hadley.

This book seems to follow the trend for creating fictionalized accounts of real relationships as Nancy Horan does in Under the Wide and Starry Sky and Robin Oliveira does in I Always Loved You. It is important to note that though based in fact, all of these stories are fiction for the true details of the relationships have been lost with the people themselves. That is why each author is very careful to present it as a novel.

This book is written in four sections - each one telling the story of one marriage. Each section begins at the end in a way. It begins at the time when each marriage is ending whether it be through an affair, divorce, or death.

Each section dips back and forth between the highs and lows of the relationship. It dips back and forth between each woman's belief that theirs would be the one that lasted forever and the realization that it would not. Each section touches on the relationship between these women - I suppose the bond from having loved and lost the same man.

This book is a story of Ernest Hemingway up to a point. His character is presented through the views and perceptions of these women. The book does not speak to his motivations. It leaves you wondering what it was about this man that drew these women, even knowing his past relationship history.

This book is, of course, the story of these four women - their love, their efforts to manage their relationship, and their lives after. One of the most interesting things I found was the ongoing friendships and relationships between the women even though one may have been responsible for the end of the other's marriage.

This book is also a story of the times from Paris to Key West, from the war front to high society.

The book blends fiction with known facts about Ernest Hemingway and the lives of these women. It adds research based on letters and telegrams. Through all of this, it weaves a beautifully written story about love, heartbreak, and choices. I cannot say that I understand these women, but it does not matter. This book is a story of emotions, and sometimes there is no why. It is simply an emotional journey to be felt.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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