Love and Ruin

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

Love and Ruin
by Paula McLain 

I don’t think Paula McLain can stop herself from writing about Hemingway. Seriously, when she spoke at our library author lunch, I’m pretty sure she admitted to being a teensy bit obsessed with him. Thankfully, this time around Hemingway’s mystique is completely eclipsed by the powerhouse journalist Martha Gelhorn, who unfortunately gets mixed up with the hard driving author on the cusp of stardom. The book’s summary uses words like “unexpectedly” and “uncontrollably”, which makes Gelhorn seem a helpless debutante, which she is decidedly not. But what was it with Hemingway and all these women who gave up their lives, homes, and careers for him? That is some amazing charisma…or something. Anyway, this is a woman worthy of her own story, and I was mildly disappointed that McLain chose to tie her life forever to Hemingway’s, especially when such a small part of her success came when they were together. Nevertheless, McLain can craft a compelling story, and I will keep reading her books as long as she continues to find intriguing historical subjects like this that inspire, enlighten, and entertain. 

For Goodreads:

Why I picked it — Because Paula McLain wrote it.
Reminded me of… another story of McLain’s, also about another wife of Hemingway, The Paris Wife. How could it not?
For my full review — click here
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An interesting look at the 3rd wife of Ernest Hemmingway.  Martha "Marty" Gellhorn was an amazing journalist and writer.  Her work as a war correspondent was amoung the best.  Her travels took her all over and she met some really amazing people.  Ernest really brought out the best in her even though their relationship wasnt always healthy.
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Many thanks to Paula McLain, Ballantine, and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. The tumultuous marriage of Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway probably should have never happened, and it probably wouldn't have e copy for circumstances. Both hired journalists to cover the war in Spain they had an affair, but Ernest sucked the life out of her, and she couldn't stop traveling for her own career. Needless to say, they didn't last long. I loved this book. I own every McLain novel. I find her quite impressive. She does her research and doesn't exaggerate. I find that quite refreshing. I can't wait for her next book.
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A beautiful story of a trail-blazing war correspondent who tackles everything in her life with vigor.
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I love Paula McLain's writing, but this book just didn't captivate me as much as The Paris Wife did.
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Love and Ruin by Paula McLain is the fictionalized account of the relationship between Ernest Hemingway and Martha Ellis Gelhorn. Their relationship and hence the book follows a cyclic path through war and peace. The focus remains throughout the relationship more so than the woman and her accomplishments. I guess in many ways I would rather have read the story of Martha Gelhorn, groundbreaking war correspondent, than Martha Gelhorn, one of the wives of Ernest Hemingway. 

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/12/love-and-ruin.html  

Reviewed for NetGalley.
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Loved this story. Not a Hemingway fan but love how Mclain humanizes him.
great page turner and great for the literary/classic reader in your life
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How do you compete with a living legend?  You don't and so they had to part.  This seems to indicate that she was the better writer at her craft and I don't think he could handle that.  His arrogance shines through like a beacon in the night and that became tedious but it isn't the author's fault--I think that's genuinely who he was.  He saw what he wanted and took it.  I enjoyed The Paris Wife but by this point I am very over him and wouldn't read another one plus the fact that her writing feels like she's forcing herself to write in a 1930s voice.  Strong woman with a good story that just didn't work as well as I had expected based on her previous work.
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Love and Ruin is well written, like all of Paula McLain's works. She does a great job of adding light and color to characters on the periphery of history, painting them into their rightful places, even if only in fiction. Often, these individuals were more influential than history books reveal, but these are supporting characters to other individuals who were larger than life itself. McLain continues this successful trend as Love and Ruin places the magnifying glass over Martha Gelhorn and her time reporting on the Spanish Civil war along with author Ernest Hemingway. Fans of The Paris Wife will likely also enjoy this work.
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Although I deplore  Ernest Hemingway's arrogance and misogyny, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Paula McLain's "Love and Ruin" about Martha Gellhorn's career and relationship/marriage to Ernest Hemingway.  Gellhorn's life was exciting enough without her becoming Hemingway's third wife, and reading about her wartime reporting adventures as well as her time in Cuba with Hemingway transported me to a different place and time in literary and American/world history through McLain's thorough research and vivid descriptions.  I am fortunate to have visited  Gellhorn's and Hemingway's incredible home in Havana, but the portrayal of the house and grounds in the novel is so accurate and detailed that a reader will see this place without having to travel there.  Paula McClain did an excellent job of introducing this reader to Martha Gellhorn whose fame should not be based on her marriage to a famous author.  Thanks to Net Galley (and to Paula McClain!), I was able to learn more about this interesting woman and her fascinating life and career.
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I'm not really a historical fiction type of girl. It was interesting to get a perspective of the life of a writer. I felt like McLain really brought to life the struggles a woman faces when choosing between herself and her husband. Do you chase your own goals or do you stand beside and be supportive. I love that Martha followed her heart and pushed herself to make her own dreams and happiness.
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Love and Ruin is the tumultuous, passionate story of Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Martha Gellhorn. Set against many beautiful backdrops, this is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and Ernest Hemingway.
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I first started reading this book without knowing anything about it except, well, it's Paula McLain. 'Nuff said.  We are introduced to the heroine without knowing her name until some pages later when, to my delight, "Gellhorn" appears and I realize the author has moved on from "The Paris Wife" to the next installment in Hemingway's path of destruction (hence the title "Love and Ruin").  But, Martha Gellhorn is a fighter. She pursues her career with passion and determination even while under the shadow of her larger-than-life husband. McLain paints Gellhorn in vivid detail, doing justice to this remarkable woman.  The finale ends with VE Day and left me wanting to know more about this innovative and trailblazing war correspondent who produced an amazing body of work against all odds.  The author's notes briefly recapping the rest of Gellhorn's life make me hopeful for another book about the decades of adventures which followed until her death in 1998.
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Loved this book. A very interesting look at another of Ernest Hemingway's wives. I wish it had ended better, but obviously it was true to real life.
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4.25. Fascinating read.  I like historical novels and this one did not disappoint.  I read and liked The Aviators Wife, and Circling the Sun by Paula McLain so I was eager o read this book.  The novel is centered around Martha Gellhorn, a writer, war time correspondent in the Spanish Civil War and World War II and wife of Ernest Hemingway.  She was ambitious, independent and a true trailblazer for women in what traditionally was a male profession.  As a fan of St. Louis, I was even more engrossed as she was a St. Louis native with strong ties to the area.  Ms. Gellhorn was a gutsy lady, butting up against the male entrenched correspondent profession, and doing quite successfully but not without some setbacks.  The novel also was interesting in providing an intimate look  into the very complex character of Ernest Hemingway as well as their complicated relationship, admiration between the two but also very competitive.  The novel showed the atrocities of war through the sometimes terrifying front line role of war correspondents while also illustrating the softer and romantic life Gellhorn and Hemingway had residing in Cuba in the 40s.  I highly recommend this novel.
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Thank you for the ARC! I've always wanted to read a Paula McLain book. My library has purchased this title.
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FINALLY: a historical novel I can believe in. It's usually difficult to write a historical romance about a (mostly) under-the-radar partner to someone as prolific as Hemingway - but this never left me rolling my eyes or doubting the narrative that McLain has artfully crafted.
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I had a bit of trouble getting into this. It was hard for me until Martha started getting more in to the rhythm of being a correspondent, that's why I'm giving three stars instead of four. I did enjoy all the St. Louis references, as I live there and am familiar with all the places mentioned. Hemingway sounds like such an ass. No idea what she saw in him.
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Love and Ruin by Paula McLain is the story of Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway.  Set in Spain in the 1930's, the story had a great sense of place.  I found the time period to be the most interesting part of the story.  This is the first book that I have read by this author and I expected a great read.  The character of Martha Gellhorn was difficult to connect with and her life with Hemingway was not as interesting as I expected.  It seemed that the book was written about a detour in Martha's life that she had to overcome to come back to herself and develop her career further.  I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
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I've read many books I famous couples and would rank this one with the best of them.  Me McLain has brought life to the characters while keeping the history interestin, a hard thing to do.  I'm looking forward to her next book!
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