Love and Ruin

Love and Ruin

Book - 2018
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"The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his 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 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha Gellhorn 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 the devastating conflict. It's the adventure she's been looking for and her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. But she also finds herself unexpectedly--and uncontrollably--falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend. 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. Heralded by Ann Patchett as "the new star of historical fiction," Paula McLain brings Gellhorn's story richly to life and captures her as a heroine for the ages: a woman who will risk absolutely everything to find her own voice"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781101967386
Branch Call Number: FICTION MCLAI...P
Characteristics: 388 pages ; 25 cm


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Oct 26, 2018

I picked this up because I loved McLain’s other historical fiction books. I wasn’t interested in Hemingway’s private life, but after reading this I wish I’d read the book before visiting Key West and Havana. Although the saying “You go, girl!” wasn’t around when Martha Gelman was alive, she is the epitome of the expression. She refused to be a shadow to Hemingway’s fame. I had no idea she covered wars from Franco’s takeover of Spain to Viet Nam.

wendybird Sep 21, 2018

I've read - and reviewed here -2 of McLain's previous novels. As in The Paris wife (2011), the central character is one of Ernest Hemingway's real life partners. Plot and action through these 376 pages swirl around Martha Gellhorn Hemingway, during her incredible adventures and time with American Lit's "Papa", 1936 - 1945. A significant and celebrated war correspondent and novelist in her own right, Gellhorn was fiercely independent and a gifted writer. She sent first hand accounts to Colliers magazine during the Spanish Civil War, reported on Hitler's rise from Germany (1938), was the only woman present and dispatching at the D-Day Normandy landings. Often forgotten to history is her Dachau documentary, the first lengthy piece clearly describing the Nazi horrors there.
If that isn't enough to inspire a reader, there is the clear, yet evocative prose with which Paula McLain describes her hero's inner and outer worlds. We are there with her, in those places - in both her emotional landscape (which was passionate but troubled where Hemingway was concerned) and in the spectacular political and geographical landscape. .
While readers of historical romance fiction will gobble this lovely, high quality novel, there is something here to catch the eye of most serious readers.

Aug 05, 2018

Having read a couple of biographies of Hemingway, I found this fictionalized version of his relationship with Martha Gellhorn to be really interesting and realistic in terms of portraying the inner struggles Gellhorn went through in striving to be her own person while in a relationship with one of those 'big' figures of history. Also, because the book covers only the years of the Spanish Civil War and WW2, it is important historically as a way of remembering how damaging those struggles were, but how seemingly easy it was to see 'right' and 'wrong', whereas more recent wars have been harder to categorize.

Jul 31, 2018

I found this incredibly boring to read. I love historical fiction, but this, this was very loosely in this category. I say loosely as it’s more a made up story of Matha Gellhorns internal dialogue than much historic basis.

I might try another of her books, but I’m definitely reluctant after this book.

The premise was intriguing, the execution fell short.

Jul 23, 2018

I really enjoyed this book, loved hearing about her travels, her struggle to keep her own life and career separate from his, loved her intrepid way of living. I am now intrigued to read more about Martha Gellhorn and read more of this author.

Jul 06, 2018

I wish I had abandoned this book after the first 100 pages. I've read her other works, and enjoyed them. This story read like a trashy romance novel with internal dialogue that is based on nothing. I made myself finish it, but I should have set it down.

Jun 13, 2018

Paula McLain does great biographical fiction and Love and Ruin is no exception to that. Her stories really allow you to step into the shoes of a historical figure and get a taste for what life felt like at that particular time and place. I did have two small issues with this book. I always struggle a bit with historical fiction written in first person (which this is). It just tampers with the plausibility of the account for me. The second issue is about the depth of the story. I felt like author just skimmed along the surface of the story and I would have enjoyed it all the more if she had done a deeper dive. There is so much rich material here to write about. These are just personal taste issues and I think this will be a great read for a lot of people.

May 23, 2018

In LOVE AND RUIN author Paula McLain returns to familiar territory: Ernest Hemmingway and a strong independent woman trying to succeed in a decidedly man’s world. This time it is the celebrated novelist’s third wife Martha Gellhorn who, despite many challenges, established herself as one of the great war correspondents of the 20th century. Additionally, she became an accomplished writer and journalist in her own right. Not surprising the lyrical title LOVE AND RUIN forecasts what lies ahead for the Gellhorn-Hemmingway relationship. This is a fascinating study of 2 people: one at the pinnacle of his career and one at the beginning of hers. A sign of a good work of historical fiction is one that prompts the reader to learn more about its subject, and for me, author McLain definitely achieved this. Well done!

jabberbooky Apr 23, 2018

If you enjoyed The Paris Wife, here's another book by Paula McLain that you are going to want to read. Here McLain tackles the complicated relationship between Hemingway and Martha Gelhorn, his third wife. And she is a strong woman! The story moves around the world along with Ernest and Martha.


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May 23, 2018

“Real writing, I was beginning to realize, was more like laying bricks than waiting for lightning to strike. It was painstaking. It was manual labor. And sometimes, sometimes if you kept putting the bricks down and let your hands just go on bleeding, and didn’t look up and didn’t stop for anything, the lightning came. Not when you prayed for it, but when you did your work.”


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