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Mrs Hemmingway

by Naomi Wood

At first glance, a novel about Ernest Hemingway's four wives may not seem a riveting prospect. However this novel is so well written and so unusual in story layout, encompassing time, place and character, that it makes compulsive reading. The period and location detail are excellent - and the wives are much more interesting than the husband! Very enjoyable.

Extract

PARIS, FRANCE. AUGUST 26, 1944

The Pig , they say, has liberated the Ritz.

In an altogether different hotel, Martha lies in bed, imagining Ernest on his favored bar stool ordering martinis for his troops. He'd be thinking, no doubt, about his life here in the twenties, when he was poorer and happier, a man only once married. His Paris life is a memory Ernest loves to slide over and over until the place is smooth and cool with his affections. Today he would surely be longing for the sawmill apartment and his lost Saint Hadley: a woman all the more exquisite for her generous retirement of the title Mrs Hemingway.

A title Martha has come to hate

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