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Mrs. Hemingway: A Novel
     

Mrs. Hemingway: A Novel

2.5 10
by Naomi Wood
 

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The Paris Wife was only the beginning of the story . . .
New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
A Richard & Judy UK Pick

Paula McLain’s New York Times–bestselling novel piqued readers’ interest about Ernest Hemingway’s romantic life. But Hadley was only one of four women married, in turn, to

Overview

The Paris Wife was only the beginning of the story . . .
New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
A Richard & Judy UK Pick

Paula McLain’s New York Times–bestselling novel piqued readers’ interest about Ernest Hemingway’s romantic life. But Hadley was only one of four women married, in turn, to the legendary writer. Just as T.C. Boyle’s bestseller The Women completed the picture begun by Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank, Naomi Wood’s Mrs. Hemingway tells the story of how it was to love, and be loved by, the most famous and dashing writer of his generation. Hadley, Pauline, Martha and Mary: each Mrs. Hemingway thought their love would last forever; each one was wrong.

Told in four parts and based on real love letters and telegrams, Mrs. Hemingway reveals the explosive love triangles that wrecked each of Hemingway's marriages. Spanning 1920s bohemian Paris through 1960s Cold War America, populated with members of the fabled "Lost Generation," Mrs. Heminway is a riveting tale of passion, love, and heartbreak.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Liesl Schillinger
…Wood's novel assembles a satisfying puzzle of personalities, bringing each relationship's beginning, end and overlap into vivid focus.
From the Publisher
Praise for Mrs. Hemingway 

***A Harper’s Bazaar (UK) Best Book of 2014***
***A Stylist Magazine (UK) Best Book of 2014***
***A Richard & Judy (UK) Pick in 2015***

“Magnetic… assembles a satisfying puzzle of personalities, bringing each relationship’s beginning, end and overlap into vivid focus.”
—Leisl Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review

“[A] compelling fictionalization of Ernest Hemingway’s four marriages. . . . We see [the women] interacting, often even liking each other -- but the frustrations and heartbreaks are just as present, giving ‘Mrs. Hemingway’ a frisson of constant conflict . . . It’s a heady time, and Wood nails it.”
— The Boston Globe

“Puts imaginative flesh on the bones of what we know about [Hemingway]. . . .   [and] suggests that he was not as brutish as he is sometimes portrayed.” — USA Today

“So beautifully written and evocative that I could not put it down.”
—Jojo Moyes, New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

“Finally, all four women who married the Great American Novelist get to tell their sides of the story.”
— Good Housekeeping
 
“Wood has given us a fascinating, astutely observed, gorgeously written account of the Hemingway wives and their charismatic, enigmatic, troubled and troublesome husband. This is a gem of a book.”
Therese Anne Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
 
“Naomi Wood’s absorbing, illuminating novel offers fascinating portraits of four extraordinary women and the tortured literary genius who loved them. If you thought you knew all there was to know about Ernest Hemingway’s wives, their passions, and their heartbreak, think again.”
Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival
 
“With remarkable insight and boldness, Naomi Wood brilliantly takes on one of history’s most remembered writers and the women who loved him. Obsessively readable, fascinating, and heartbreaking, Mrs. Hemingway captures a time and people in a style the legend himself would no doubt admire.”
Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl
 
“Forget everything you thought you knew about Ernest Hemingway’s four wives.  In a quartet of searing interlocked portraits, Naomi Wood brings vividly to life the real women who loved and lost the legendary charmer and great writer.  Mrs. Hemingway is a luminous heartbreaking novel.  Wood is a writer to watch.”
Ellen Feldman, Orange Prize-shortlisted author of Lucy
 
“A detailed and deeply affecting account of the complex relationship between love and work.”
Ian Sansom, author of The Case of the Missing Books
 
“It's superb, everything about it - the sentences, details, dialogue, but also the architecture, the way it's built. It flirts with all that’s already known, but the women feel real and fresh, and through their eyes so does Hemingway.”
Andrew Cowan, author of Pig
 
“Luminous, intoxicating…A passionate novel based on real lives, full of betrayals and moments of heartbreaking intimacy as Wood gives four remarkable women star billing.”
Marie Claire (UK)
 
"Readers who enjoyed Loving Frank and The Paris Wife will adore this ideal summer read. Seamlessly blending known facts with fiction, Mrs. Heminway is an absorbing, tender glimpse inside the lives of those in Hemingway's inner circle."
Booklist

“Well researched . . .  interesting . . . [and] cleverly done.”
Literary Review (UK)
 
“Exquisitely written, the Mrs. Hemingways finally have their say in this beautiful novel.”
Stylist Magazine (UK)
 
“A beautiful read and an amazing insight into the life of the man . . . superb.”
Red (UK)
 
“Very occasionally, a piece of fiction based on facts is so good that I catch myself thinking: ‘Oh, so that’s how it really was.’ Wood achieves this in this breathtakingly good look at the lives of Ernest Hemingway’s four wives . . . . Sublime.”
The Bookseller (UK)

Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-16
The four wives of Ernest Hemingway—each loved, each abandoned—are given understated yet telling voices as they recount their relationships with a mercurial giant of literature."He is so good at being in love that Ernest Hemingway makes a rotten husband," reckons Martha Gellhorn, the third and most rebellious of the writer's four spouses. Hemingway's life is familiar territory, and Wood (The Godless Boys, 2011) treads close on the heels of The Paris Wife, Paula McLain's recent novel about Hadley, the first Mrs. Hemingway, but still brings freshness and grace to her matrimonial survey. Thrifty Hadley, from the Midwest, is the most conventional of the women, Hemingway's companion during his poorest years. Her mistake is to try to stifle her husband's affair with wealthy Fife (Pauline Pfeiffer) by embracing it; the trio's tense 1926 holiday in the south of France ends with Hemingway selecting his mistress over his wife. Twelve years later, in Key West, it's Fife's turn to be displaced, this time by young Gellhorn, the future war correspondent. After his second divorce, Hemingway and Gellhorn live together idyllically in Cuba, but as he slows down and suggests children (despite already having three), she refuses to stop working. Tired of his selfishness, Gellhorn eventually asks for a divorce in Paris during its liberation in 1944; although Hemingway resists, he's already writing love poems to Mary Welsh, to whom he will be married when he commits suicide in 1961. Evocative of place, neat in structure, Wood's novel occasionally tries to understand Hemingway's promiscuity but in essence leaves his perspective out of the picture, instead presenting his charisma, grandstanding, prodigious boozing and dark complexity from the individual points of view of the women: "such unlikely sisters."With its delicate phrasing, softly voiced but insightful portraits, and unsensational handling of the love triangles, Woods' novel revisits literary myth with restrained empathy.
Library Journal
05/01/2014
Many stories have been told about the passionate, and sometimes manic, Ernest Hemingway. Biographies have also been written about each of his four wives. Now there is a book that skillfully blends all of these accounts into one poignant tale. Making her U.S. debut, British author Wood (The Godless Boys) has written a well-researched novel about Hemingway's spouses, pulling material from personal letters and archives. Each wife tells her own story, effortlessly moving the reader through almost 40 years of Hemingway's life. Hadley is a tender mother and doting wife. Beautiful Pauline is admired by the writer's artist friends. Martha, a journalist, found wartime reporting more exhilarating than marriage. Mary, also a journalist, struggles through her husband's depression, alcoholism, and suicide. Each woman's story flows seamlessly into the next, providing a detailed account of Hemingway's erratic nature. VERDICT Fans of literary biographies and biographical novels such as Paula McClain's best seller The Paris Wife will adore Wood's second novel. It will also appeal more broadly to those interested in history or historical fiction, women's issues, and romance. [No doubt Wood did some of her research at the British Library where she was the inaugural Eccless Centre British Library Writer in Residence in 2012.—Ed.]—Shannon Marie Robinson, Denison Univ. Lib., Granville, OH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143124610
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/27/2014
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
249,275
Product dimensions:
4.80(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Praise for Mrs. Hemingway 
 
***A Harper’s Bazaar (UK) Best Book of 2014***
***A Stylist Magazine (UK) Best Book of 2014***

“Magnetic… assembles a satisfying puzzle of personalities, bringing each relationship’s beginning, end and overlap into vivid focus.”
—Leisl Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Wood has given us a fascinating, astutely observed, gorgeously written account of the Hemingway wives and their charismatic, enigmatic, troubled and troublesome husband. This is a gem of a book.”
Therese Anne Fowler,New York Times bestselling author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
 
“Naomi Wood’s absorbing, illuminating novel offers fascinating portraits of four extraordinary women and the tortured literary genius who loved them. If you thought you knew all there was to know about Ernest Hemingway’s wives, their passions, and their heartbreak, think again.”
Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival
 
“It takes an unusual skill to keep someone reading a story to which they think they already know the ending. But Mrs. Hemingway is so beautifully written, and evocative, that I could not put it down until the last page.”
Jojo Moyes, New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You
 
“With remarkable insight and boldness, Naomi Wood brilliantly takes on one of history’s most remembered writers and the women who loved him. Obsessively readable, fascinating, and heartbreaking, Mrs. Hemingway captures a time and people in a style the legend himself would no doubt admire.”
Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl
 
“Forget everything you thought you knew about Ernest Hemingway’s four wives.  In a quartet of searing interlocked portraits, Naomi Wood brings vividly to life the real women who loved and lost the legendary charmer and great writer.  Mrs. Hemingway is a luminous heartbreaking novel.  Wood is a writer to watch.”
Ellen Feldman, Orange Prize-shortlisted author of Lucy
 
“A detailed and deeply affecting account of the complex relationship between love and work.” —Ian Sansom, author of The Case of the Missing Books
 
“It's superb, everything about it - the sentences, details, dialogue, but also the architecture, the way it's built. It flirts with all that’s already known, but the women feel real and fresh, and through their eyes so does Hemingway.”
Andrew Cowan, author of Pig
 
“Luminous, intoxicating…A passionate novel based on real lives, full of betrayals and moments of heartbreaking intimacy as Wood gives four remarkable women star billing.”
Marie Claire (UK)
 
"Readers who enjoyed Loving Frank and The Paris Wife will adore this ideal summer read. Seamlessly blending known facts with fiction, Mrs. Heminway is an absorbing, tender glimpse inside the lives of those in Hemingway's inner circle."
Booklist

“Well researched . . .  interesting . . . [and] cleverly done.”
Literary Review (UK)
 
“Exquisitely written, the Mrs. Hemingways finally have their say in this beautiful novel.”
Stylist Magazine (UK)
 
“A beautiful read and an amazing insight into the life of the man . . . superb.”
Red (UK)
 
“Very occasionally, a piece of fiction based on facts is so good that I catch myself thinking: ‘Oh, so that’s how it really was.’ Wood achieves this in this breathtakingly good look at the lives of Ernest Hemingway’s four wives . . . . Sublime.”
The Bookseller (UK)

Meet the Author

Naomi Wood was awarded the 2012 inaugural Eccles Centre British Library Writer in Resident Award. She is the Young Patrons Ambassador at the British Library and teaches at the University of East Anglia. She lives in London. Mrs. Hemingway is her American debut.

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Mrs. Hemingway: A Novel 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Hadley, Fife, Martha and Mary were all women with the title of Mrs. Hemingway at different times obviously; but this is the story of their immense love for the famous author and lover, Ernest Hemingway.  It’s about their coping with the fact that they were losing him to “another woman” and their connection with each other despite the fact that divorce and then death robbed each of the greatest love known.   Hadley was the quietest of the four women, of little wit and yet whose role as not only lover but also editor of her husband’s short stories and early novels cemented the early years of their marriage.  She is the one who loved him through his early writing failures and the constant poverty that stalked the young couple during those barren years. How pivotal was the early loss of Hemingway’s early works and was this an unforgiveable act that was part of the eventual demise of a deep relationship? Was Hadley responsible for losing Ernest to another woman by including her in their every vacation and social gathering? The reader cannot help but question why she continued these perverse invitations when she gradually began to realize she was losing him. Fife was the most energetic of the three, a woman who was so vivacious that no one knew what she would say or do next, the daredevil of them all.  Most intriguing is her closeness to both Hadley and Ernest, even after he had abandoned Hadley and married Fife.  How long would that unique zest for life satisfy the ever-leering Hemingway whose unfaithfulness seemed a vital part of his life, as important as his writing and his need for danger? Pauline Pfeiffer (Fife) was replaced twenty years later by Martha Gelhorn, a woman who never wanted to be married and who craved the journalistic excitement provided by revolutions and wars overseas.  That shared zest for danger united them until he wanted her to quit working and devote her life to children, a rift that eventually drove Ernest to Mary who loved Ernest’s love for writing and words more than anything else about him. It was Mary who most had to deal with his ever-looming depressive bouts and eventual suicide. Mrs. Hemingway is fascinating reading for the way the focus is really on these four women and not on the moods and raucous behavior of their husband.  While one might think it’s a tedious story, Naomi Wood has managed to craft a story that gives unique qualities to each woman and yet shows how a particular pattern followed each marriage, ironically one that the wives never really challenge during the time they spent with this wild but unpredictable man.  Nice job, Naomi Wood and a strong addition to the fiction about this most outrageous but talented journalist and author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had read the ''Paris Wife'' and enjoyed reading about the early and happier lives of Hadley and Ernest Hemingway. This book gave more detail on the other 3 wives and better insight into Ernest Hemingway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed very much seeing Ernest Hemingway through the eyes of his 4 wives. Each continued to love him until his death even though marriages were plagued with his adultery, alcoholism, deep mood swings and verbal abuse. Wives were bound together not only through their lasting love for him but the deep friendship that grew between them. Remarkable women for a remarkable genius of a man. Read!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have read, "The First Mrs Hemingway" , you have already read this book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous 3 months ago
Byyy q
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unless you give one star per wife he was not a dasher but a depressive self medicated drunk that would have been better et al served by AA