I have such mixed feelings about this story about Hemingway's third wife, Martha Gellhorn, and her efforts to forge her own identity as a writer. Paula McClain's writing is excellent, and at the start of this novel I was captivated. The question of what drew Gellhorn to Hemingway, beyond his fame, loomed large for me. I started to get a little bored about 2/3 of the way through when the story started to drag. But towards the end: redemption! I was again captivated. Maybe when it comes to Hemingway, what I'm looking for is a little more "ruin" (I'm not a fan, #sorrynotsorry), and when it comes to Gellhorn, she shone when she was exercising her independence. Many other bloggers have loved this without reserve, so it's worth checking out if you have an interest in Hemingway and/or Gellhorn.
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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
In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha 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 devastating conflict. She also finds herself unexpectedly—and uncontrollably—falling in love with Hemingway, a man already on his way to becoming a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the tumultuous backdrops of Madrid, Finland, China, Key West, and especially Cuba, where Martha and Ernest make their home, their relationship and 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 will force her to break his heart, and her own.