Sunday, July 06, 2014

Mrs Hemingway - Naomi Wood

I adored this little book and was sad when it reached its sad conclusion even though I knew how the story ended.  It is easy to picture the very macho Ernest Hemingway drinking and carousing around, Cuba, Florida, Spain and France, shooting game in Africa, driving ambulances in wartime and writing novels.  In this book we get to meet his four wives, all of whom follow on from each other, as he barely pauses before replacing each one in turn.  The thing that surprised me, was that somehow they all seemed a bit shocked when the new one was already sniffing around before the marriage was over.  That and his last wife Mary, who spent years saying his death was an accident when clearly it was anything but.

Each wife, Hadley, Pauline, Martha and Mary are given an equal chance to tell their stories and you could feel for each of them, all strong opinionated ladies who were wooed by the charismatic handsome  author, who to his credit married each of them.    It was easy to picture parties in the south of France, and wartime celebrations at the end of WWII and I liked that the book wasn't bogged down by too much detail.  I didn't need page after page setting the scene, instead I enjoyed the authors restraint.


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