Monday, January 21, 2019

Review: Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

Title: Love and Ruin
Author: Paula McLain
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publish Date: May 1, 2018
Source: Owned

What's the Story?:

From "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."

My Two Cents:

"Love and Ruin" marks Paula McLain's return to writing about the life and loves of Ernest Hemingway. I loved "The Paris Wife" and couldn't wait to see what the author did with the love affair between Ernest and Martha Gellhorn. I was definitely not disappointed!

Martha Gellhorn was so much more than just one of Ernest's wives. She was made good on her dream of becoming a war reporter and this was during a time when women were supposed to be sitting on the sidelines. Martha would never be happy to do that as McLain shows us throughout the book. I liked how much detail McLain gave about Martha's dream and drive outside of Ernest. It made me feel for her a lot more because I felt I understood her better.

I loved the way that the author wrote how the relationship between Martha and Ernest unfolded. We get to see its whole lifecycle. The love between Ernest and Martha is exciting and full of adventure at first. Ernest wants to sweep Martha off her feet. She fits his ideal of what a woman should be and seems quite different from his previous loves. But what you think may be your ideal may not really work in reality.

This was a great book! It is easy to see why Ernest Hemingway and fantastic people like Martha Gellhorn continue to spark imaginations.

1 comment:

  1. I've read two books on Hemingway and his lifestyle and his wives and women. Fascinating reading it was. This sounds like another good one to add to the pile.


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