“They lounge around the house–Hadley, Ernest, and Fife–and though they know they are all miserable no one is willing to sound the first retreat; not wife, not husband, not mistress. They have been in the villa like this for weeks, like dancers in relentless motion, trying to exhaust each other into falling.” –Naomi Wood, MRS. HEMINGWAY
The Paris Wife was only the beginning of the story . . .
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. As each wife struggles with his mistress for Ernest’s heart, and a place in his bed, each marriage slips from tenderness to treachery. Each Mrs. Hemingway thought it would last forever. Each one was wrong.
Told in four parts and populated with members of the fabled “Lost Generation”—including Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald—Mrs. Hemingway interweaves the love letters, diaries, and telegrams of four very different women into one spellbinding tale.
Having a long standing and intensely personal interest in all things Ernest Hemingway, I was eager to read this novel from the moment I heard of it. From start to finish, MRS. HEMINGWAY captivated my attention and shed new and fascinating light on a life story of a writer worthy of a novel.
Told from each wife’s point of view, MRS. HEMINGWAY is arranged chronologically by marriage, but through both action and remembrance in each section. When one wife’s story ends, the next begins, often staging scenes from the other point of view, allowing for a rich tapestry of testimony for the commencement and conclusion of each romance. No one is innocent on these pages, but all are human, sympathetic, and redeemable–even Papa.
If you cannot get enough of the story of Ernest Hemingway–and even if you can–you must read MRS HEMINGWAY. Book clubs in particular will have much to discuss from its cast of flawed characters falling in and out of love in rich settings of period and place. Heartbreaking and heart-stirring, MRS HEMINGWAY is a novel that Ernest Hemingway himself would no doubt admire.