Title: Hemingway's Girl
Author: Erika Robuck
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publish Date: September 4, 2012
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "“She remembered when
Hemingway had planted a banyan at his house and told her its parasitic
roots were like human desire. At the time she’d thought it romantic. She
hadn’t understood his warning.”
In Depression-era Key West,
Mariella Bennet, the daughter of an American fisherman and a Cuban
woman, knows hunger. Her struggle to support her family following her
father’s death leads her to a bar and bordello, where she bets on a
risky boxing match...and attracts the interest of two men: world-famous
writer, Ernest Hemingway, and Gavin Murray, one of the WWI veterans who
are laboring to build the Overseas Highway.
When Mariella is
hired as a maid by Hemingway’s second wife, Pauline, she enters a
rarified world of lavish, celebrity-filled dinner parties and elaborate
off-island excursions. As she becomes caught up in the tensions and
excesses of the Hemingway household, the attentions of the
larger-than-life writer become a dangerous temptation...even as the
reliable Gavin Murray draws her back to what matters most. Will she
cross an invisible line with the volatile Hemingway, or find a way to
claim her own dreams? As a massive hurricane bears down on Key West,
Mariella faces some harsh truths...and the possibility of losing
everything she loves."
My Two Cents:
Oh, Ernest Hemingway, you will slay me every time! I know it's a huge trend and some may consider it overdone but I love all of the books, particularly historical fiction books, that have been coming out about those surrounding really famous people. In the writing world, Ernest Hemingway is still regarded very well. His books are classics. His life was tumultuous, which makes him a perfect subject for a historical fiction writer to tackle. Erika Robuck does it with panache.
Mariella is a young woman who becomes a maid to Hemingway's wife, Pauline, after going through a couple of hard knocks. She is determined to make a better life for herself and is swept up in the chaotic Hemingway web as she starts to do so. The book explores whether or not she is able to create a new life without being derailed by everything that is going on around her and threatening to pull her down into something that she cannot dig her way out of. I really loved her character. She really had a compelling voice in this book. Her strength and fire made her a fantastic foil for Hemingway. I loved reading about how their relationship changed and grew throughout time.
I loved the descriptions in this book. I had wanted to visit Key West for a long time but Robuck's descriptions in this book made me want to visit even more. I look forward to reading more by this author!