Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Love and Ruin - Book Review

Martha Gellhorn is young, ambitious and already a writer when she has a chance encounter with Ernest Hemingway in a bar near the home he shared with his wife and sons in Key West, Florida. That initial meeting would begin as a mentor that could help Martha pursue her career goals and soon became a passionate and dangerous love affair with the famous writer. Paula McLain, who wrote about Hemingway's first wife in her novel The Paris Wife, revisits that iconic legend in her newest novel Love and Ruin.

I first fell in love with Ernest Hemingway when I was a sophomore in high school and read A Farewell to Arms. It's one of the few books that I regularly reread. Later I would read more of Hemingway's works and would count For Whom the Bell Tolls as my favorite.  The first thing that intrigued me about Love and Ruin and it's focus on Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway's third wife is that they spent their early romance in the midst of the Spanish Civil War which is the setting For Whom the Bell Tolls. Love and Ruin by Paula McLain tells their love story from Martha's perspective. A successful writer and an award winning journalist covering many of the wars from the twentieth century, Martha is a fascinating character.

Love and Ruin is intriguing and so well written that I was captured up in the tales of Martha's aspirations and energy. She is an amazing woman and frankly deserves to be known for her own achievements and not only as the wife of Ernest Hemingway. McLain gives her voice and power to tell her own story. The novel is romantic and dangerous and passionate as Gellhorn and Hemingway have their adventures around the globe.

I very much enjoyed learning more of Martha Gellhorn in Love and Ruin. Martha and Hemingway's tempestuous and ardent love story makes an exciting and raw novel and McLain does Martha justice.

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain is published by Ballantine Books and released May 1, 2018.

**I received a complimentary copy. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received.**

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