rachelm's Reviews > The Garden of Eden

The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway
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's review
Jan 04, 09

bookshelves: fiction, france
Read in December, 2008

This unfinished, posthumously published work continued my love/hate relationship with Hemingway. I love the characteristically strong and lovely prose and understated emotional subtext. I hate the fact that the character described on the back cover as Hemingway's most complex female character is a mentally ill and destructive woman deeply jealous of her husband's writing career, and that a relationship between two women is at one point described as something "women do when they don't have any better options."

It was interesting to see Hemingway's style brought to bear on explicitly sexual topics, although I uncharitably thought at times that the book had come out of a thought process along the lines of "Fitzgerald wrote a really great expat novel about his crazy wife, and Henry Miller and Anais Nin wrote really good expat literature about their sexual adventures and screwed up love triangles...maybe I should do all three!"

It's also worth mentioning that this novel was unfinished at Hemingway's death, and as such feels less polished and complete than much of his other work.
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