Mrs. Hemingway: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

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

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 ...
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Mrs. Hemingway: A Novel

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Overview

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

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.
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Editorial Reviews

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
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101632093
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/27/2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 21,054
  • File size: 2 MB

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2014

    rewrite of "The First Mrs. Hemingway"

    If you have read, "The First Mrs Hemingway" , you have already read this book!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Hadley, Fife, Martha and Mary were all women with the title of M

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    Fans of the Hemingways should read this book

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2014

    Great Read

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Undying love four times with vows broken four times tripe

    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

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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