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Love and Ruin: A Novel by Paula McLain
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Love and Ruin: A Novel (edition 2018)

by Paula McLain (Author)

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2072880,757 (3.88)9
Member:Margeryw
Title:Love and Ruin: A Novel
Authors:Paula McLain (Author)
Info:Ballantine Books (2018), Edition: First Edition, 400 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:novel

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Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Please see my review on Amazon.com under C. Wong. Thank you. ( )
  Carolee888 | Sep 18, 2018 |
This narrator was phenomenal. The book, however, was not nearly as good as The Paris Wife. I am becoming less of a fan of comparing books because I feel like it sets expectations that ultimately don't get met. It's like the third movie in a series curse in a sense. I am not sure if I felt like McLain just fell short of the mark because Martha was such a strong character, or if it was because her love with Ernest was less passionate. There was just something about it that didn't feel quite right. I felt like this for the majority of the book, which made it difficult to get through.

I also just had trouble with Martha and Ernest's relationship as a whole. Nothing about it was surprising, however, the way it was written just didn't feel quite right. It didn't feel like either was particularly in love- just lust. Martha loved his children, that was clear, but the man himself? It wasn't there for me. I also found that I didn't really care. They both just seem so selfish and self-serving, which you cannot build a relationship on. Perhaps had the story been told in a third-person manner rather than narrated by Martha it would have been better. Some objective narrator that could see the damage would have been nice.

I also found the white American privilege during war times so annoying. Yes, they were both writers. But there was no struggling, even the hard times they faced during writers block was short lived. There was always an option available to change the scenery, the conditions under which they were writing. There was little concern for the people involved in the war, though not absent, it wasn't intense in my opinion. Unless, of course, referring to Ernest's son Bumby. I don't necessarily mind this attitude, as it was probably accurate given the circumstances, but again, it would have been nice to have an observer whom could see this fallacy and enlightened the audience. ( )
  BEGivens | Sep 15, 2018 |
Martha Gellhorn was Ernest Hemingway's third wife, and the only one to leave him. Gellhorn was an aspiring journalist when she met Hemingway while on vacation in Key West in her 20s. Soon, they were covering the Civil War in Spain from the same hotel, they became lovers, and eventually married. Gellhorn made a home with Hemingway in Cuba, and was with him when he published his novel of the Spanish Civil War, 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'. But Gellhorn had no intention of giving up her career as a war correspondent and her continued insistence on traveling took a toll on their relationship. Gellhorn is a fascinating character, and while this is a book specifically about her relationship with Hemingway, the author's note informs us that she continued to cover wars for many years after they divorced. ( )
  rglossne | Aug 28, 2018 |
Paul McClain, who wrote The Paris Wife about Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson, now turns her attention to Hemingway's third, and much more interesting wife, Martha Gelhorn.

Unlike any of his other wives, Hemingway's marriage o Gelhorn was much more a marriage of equals with each of them pursuing their own writing careers. And therein lay the problem. What was seductively sexy in the white hot heat of the Spanish Civil War devolved into mundane professional jealousy as Gelhorn was given more and more interesting assignments in war torn Europe and Asia while Hemingway sank into writer's block and petty jealousy.

A successful marriage is the art of compromise on both sides and compromise was something neither Hemingway nor Gelhorn was capable of. Martha walked away first - the only one of Hemingway's wives to leave him. She continued her successful journalism career, covering wars into her eightieth decade. As for Hemingway, we all know how that ended. ( )
  etxgardener | Aug 26, 2018 |
A novelized version of Hemingway’s relationship with his third wife Martha Gellhorn. She was a war correspondent who met Hemingway in Key west. As two writers they struggled with professionalism jealous. I wasn’t a fan of the few bits that were from his POV, but loved learning more about her work and life.

“The interesting thing about chaos is that it provides perfect privacy.”

“I don’t know if I believe in war, it just makes ghosts.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Aug 21, 2018 |
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Epigraph
There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that?
-Ernest Hemingway,
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Dedication
For Julie Barer
First words
Near dawn on July 13, 1936, as three assassins scaled a high garden wall in Tenerife hoping to catch the band of armed guards unaware, I was asleep in a tiny room in Stuttgart, waiting for my life to begin.
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"A novel about [Ernest Hemingway's] passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn-- a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century ... In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest's relationship and their 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 could force her to break his heart, and hers"--… (more)

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