Love and Ruin - 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.