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Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck

Title: Hemingway's Girl
Author: Erika Robuck
Format: Paperback
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publish Date: September 4, 2012
Source: Owned

What's the Story?:

From "“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!



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