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Mrs. Hemingway

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  8,399 ratings  ·  870 reviews
A riveting tale of passion, love, and heartbreak, Mrs. Hemingway reveals the explosive love triangles that wrecked each of Hemingway's marriages.

The Paris Wife was only the beginning of the story...

Paula McLain's New York Times bestselling novel piqued readers' interest about Ernest Hemingway's romantic life. But Hadley was only one of four women married, in turn, to the
Paperback, 322 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by Penguin Books
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Diane S ☔
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I read The Paris Wife, a year or so ago, at book's end I was convinced that Ernest Hemingway was a self-centered jerk. This book, detailing the marriages and first meeting swith the man, presented a refreshingly whole picture, one that I felt gave the reader a better and maybe more fair portrait of this complicated author.

I probably knew the least about his last wife Mary and apparently she is the only wife to pen her own memoir about their marriage called [[book:How It Was|2519224]. I lov
Violet wells
There’s recently been a slew of novels about authors and their spouses. And if you do a little sleuth work here you’ll discover that a novel about a literary celebrity will outsell a hundredfold all the authors previous novels. So it’s clearly a very good career move for a novelist whose work has failed to make any mark. Write a novel about Virginia Woolf, Zelda Fitzgerald or in this case Hemingway’s wives and a store of interest and emotion is already prepared, as if microwaved. So you sense th ...more
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
[3.5] Well done novel about Hemingway's four wives and the magnetic pull he had. I found it fascinating that in varying degrees, they stayed in touch with each other. ...more
The extent to which I enjoyed this book really surprised me. Nowadays there are so many books about the wives of celebrated men. This is one of the better ones.

What this book does exceptionally well is capture the emotions and thoughts of Ernest Hemingway’s wives. Who were these women? What were their personalities? How did each of these women see life with this creative, but self-centered and troubled man? Let’s call him for what he is, a prima donna, but as this book also shows he had an attra
(4.5) “What a pull he has! What a magnetism! Women jump off balconies and follow him into wars. Women turn their eyes from an affair, because a marriage of three is better than a woman alone.”

I have a soft spot for ‘famous wives’ books, and this is a great one. Wood does a fantastic job of using the close third-person to shift into the perspectives of all four Hemingway wives, gently leading the reader into sympathy with each one in turn. Unlike many of the novels in the subgenre, this one also
Maya Panika
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Naomi Woods writes wonderful prose. Her style is succinct and spare, yet gorgeously metaphoric, like a skeletal Jazz-age flapper, bejewelled and beautifully dressed and very little flesh on her bones. But I found the structure - tracking backwards and forwards through time - more than a little annoying at first. I couldn't see the point: it felt contrived, a little too clever, unnecessarily complicated. About 5 chapters in, I got it, and a complex, satisfying, absorbing novel emerged.
This is He
Mairead Hearne (
'And the world is done'

Mrs Hemingway is a novel that I absolutely devoured as I was transported back to a time that has always held great fascination for me. Naomi Wood has brought the lives of the four Mrs. Hemingways together in this imagined account of the complex life of a very complicated and troubled man, Ernest Hemingway.

Having read a variety of books from this era, I am always attracted to the lives of The Lost Generation. There is always something so very fragile about them. The dec
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mrs. Hemingway: A Novel - Naomi Wood 4.5/5

A captivating story but painful and frustrating to read. Clearly Hemingway was a man dealing with numerous issues, loving him could not have been easy (apparent from his many relationships). Ladies were attracted to him and he seemed to bask in the attention wanted or unwanted. The part I found difficult to swallow was the fact these women surrendered their self respect and dignity in the name of love. I understand how love forces one to do 'crazy'
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-books
Where to start when it comes to how much I enjoyed this book?

I have to admit, in 2014 most of what I have read has been a little lackluster. Mrs. Hemingway was the first novel that really captured my attention and had me staying up late to finish it off. While it will undoubtedly garner comparisons to Paula McLain's The Paris Wife, the two novels only overlap in the slightest. While McLain chose to focus on the narrative of Hemingway's first wife, Hadley, in Wood's book we spend time with all f
Sep 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
In my opinion, of course. The worst. Don't waste your time. Bad fiction, bad prose, infantile dialogue. How does this crap get published anyway? ...more
Linda Lipko
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'll look for more books by this author. This one was excellently written. Ernest Hemingway had four wives. He accumulated them like stars in the sky, looking on the horizon to see the brightest among many. He plucked another woman before letting go of the previous one.

He was a cad, a charmer, a person who most likely thought he was sincere, yet he was far from that! Hadley Richardson was his Paris wife who was with him when he hung along the glamours Fitzgeralds, and the in crowd -- the "lost g
I chose to purchase Naomi Wood's Mrs Hemingway to contribute to my Around the World in 80 Books challenge, which I am currently working through. Although the novel is set in several locations - the Sunday Express mentions in its review that it zips 'from jazz-age Paris to post-war Cuba via 1930s Florida' - I chose to include it for Cuba, where Ernest Hemingway lived for some years.

Whilst I tend to be quite sceptical about fictionalised books about real-life figures, particularly the famous and i
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: american-history
After reading "The Paris Wife" I don't know why I read this book. This just reinforced to me that I will never like Ernest Hemingway. He may have been a "literary genius" but he was a lousy husband and drunk by all accounts. That being said, I'd be hard pressed to want to read anything by him. I wanted to like this book for the historical value of it but I just couldn't. I noticed another author quoted on the cover describes the book as "So beautifully written..." well I beg to differ. I could n ...more
Caroline Scott
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
‘An album follows, a book of wives. In each picture of each couple a ghost wife hovers behind him. Each decade has its triptych.’

There’s a lovely measure to Naomi Wood’s writing. I liked her style straightaway. She puts in just enough time and place that I was immediately in the room and pulled by the narrative. Hadley’s section has some great evocative description, but it’s applied with elegant economy. Wood puts the heaviness in the heat, the salt in the sea and I had a real sense of all the t
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Four wives and an addiction to marriage. Despite the difficulty he had remaining faithful, Hemingway didn't like being single, he liked his women to be contracted to him and then to have his liberty.

The book is structured in four equal parts, each dedicated to one wife and starts with the beginning of the end, before giving us the beginning of their relationship. It is a study of how he entered and exited these relationships and doesn't dwell at all on the middle or the mundane. That structure
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. I didn’t know much about Ernest Hemingway’s life but loved his writings. It’s fascinating to learn about his wives. He inspired great passion and devotion from his women. I would like to read a good biography of Ernest Hemingway to get a more detailed and complete picture of him. But this is a good starter introduction to him via his wives.
Linda Boa
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-blog
Review to come on
Fascinating book - I do love literary figures appearing in fiction. This is a great novel -I'm swithering between 4 & 5 stars...Highly recommended.
Erika Robuck
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Having a long standing and intensely personal interest in all things Ernest Hemingway, I was eager to read this novel from the moment I heard of it. From start to finish, MRS. HEMINGWAY captivated my attention and shed new and fascinating light on a life story of a writer worthy of a novel.

Told from each wife’s point of view, MRS. HEMINGWAY is arranged chronologically by marriage, but through both action and remembrance in each section. When one wife’s story ends, the next begins, often staging
Sally Flint
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-reads
I wanted to enjoy this book as I liked the idea of it being the different female narrative voices that were explored, but I finished the book not really knowing any more about the wives or Hemingway than when I started. I usually can access History though fiction, but this time I felt it just didn't really say anything, other than the obvious that he was a bit of a womaniser and a bit of a troubled soul. I guess, it would now be kind of interesting to read some proper biographical material and c ...more
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In a review, Booklist compared my second novel to Mrs. Hemingway so of course I had to immediately pick it up. I love all things Hemingway so knew this would be right up my alley. There have been no shortage of Hemingway wife fiction so I worried this wouldn't have anything new to add…and I was dead wrong. This is basically 4 interrelated novellas, each told through one of Hemingway’s wives. The author does a brilliant job of painting the thrills and heartbreak of being married to this complex m ...more
Mar 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Ernest. The man, the legend. Henry the VIII of the literary world when it came to marriage, although less prolific and less homicidal. Here his life is told through his four wives, each gets her own quarter of the book, irrespective of the marriage's actual duration or import. Well, really they were all important in their own way just as all of the women were unique in their own way. The only constant thing was Ernest himself, terribly romantic, utterly charismatic, reliably philandering in a ...more
Terrie Robinson
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone who enjoy historical fiction
Recommended to Terrie by: No one
"Mrs. Hemingway" by Naomi Wood was a quick read I really enjoyed!

A novel based on the brilliant & legendary author Ernest Hemingway and the end of his marriages to each of his four wives. Each Mrs. Hemingway narrates her thoughts as she experienced the breakdown of her marriage to Mr. Hemingway. Such emotion - heartbreak, infidelity, passion and love - intertwined through the marriages of “Papa Hemingway” in this book.

It was an unexpectedly interesting read!
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
A nice, light holiday read about hemingways many wives and there overlapping relationships.
Flew through this book which is always a good sign. Although a work of fiction you can imagine what life was like living with a drunk brute who couldn't love just one person and was revered at the time partying with the likes of Scott Fitzgerald.
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Book set in SOUTH OF FRANCE + CUBA + USA (Hemingway "...a man of too many wives")

There were four ‘official’ Mrs Hemingways, and the author describes the time each spends alongside the mercurial Mr Ernest Hemingway. This is the story of the lauded author, his life at various war fronts and his writing career, as seen through four different sets of eyes: Hadley, Fife, Martha and Mary (yes, even the biblical association of the last two wives is not overlooked). It’s such an inventive way of fiction
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Everyone has heard of Ernest Hemingway, but there is not so much written about his wives. Mrs Hemingway is a fictionalised account of the women who shared Hemingway's life.

The reader is introduced to Hemingway and his first wife Hadley, it is 1926 and they are staying in a villa in Antibes, also staying with them is Ernest's lover Fife. Fife is also the best friend of Hadley. And so, we begin the journey alongside Hemingway and his women. An unconventional journey, and at times, for the women a
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
The story is about Hemingway’s four wives – Hadley (Hash) Richardson, Pauline Pfeiffer (Fife), Martha Gellhorn (Rabbit) and Mary Welsh (Pickle)
I think it tries to weave a story around the ‘menage a trois’ which links the wives because it is important to the plot that Hemingway meets and develops a relationship with the next Mrs Hemingway before the previous Mrs Hemingway is destined to become history. It’s a bit like Princess Diane’s comment ‘there were three in the marriage which made it a bit
Samantha Ania
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
I didn't know much about Ernest Hemingway before reading this book, outside of he was a jerk and also brilliant. And, to be very honest, I wasn't that interested despite having been an English major and literature lover. But then I saw this book, about the Hemingway wives, and was intrigued. I always have a weak spot for books about the wives "behind" famous men, even as I don't like the phrase. This didn't disappoint. Each woman gets a beautiful quarter of the book to tell her story and be hear ...more
May 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book. I had read much before about Hemingway and his wives such as The Paris Wife and A Moveable Feast. I had also read Z about Zelda and The Hotel on Place Vendome about the Paris Ritz. So it all comes together in this beautiful book that gives a look into each of his four wives and how the relationship began and how it ended.
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because I thought it would be a light read about women in Ernest Hemingway's life. Little did I know that it would turn out to be a lot more than that. Four women, four different, but somehow similar stories of love and loss. From the first wife to the last one, we are taken on a journey of how it feels to fall in love with such a great man and then to lose him to another.

Despite it being a work of fiction, I'm afraid I will end up one day presenting it as a true story of
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting read about Ernest Hemingway's 4 wives. Must have been based on fact but I liked the way it was woven in to a story. Whether it portrayed him correctly, we wouldn't know. Lots of other people mentioned including friend Scott Fitzgerald. Quite a heady time seemed to be had by all! ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood 3 22 Jan 07, 2015 06:07AM  

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Naomi Wood was born in 1983 and lives in London. She studied at Cambridge and at UEA for her MA in Creative Writing. Originally from York, she has gone on to live in Hong Kong, Paris and Washington DC. She is the author of The Godless Boys and Mrs. Hemingway.

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