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Love and Ruin

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  22,088 ratings  ·  2,726 reviews
The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century
In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of t
Kindle Edition, 389 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Ballantine Books
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Roberta First of all, excuse my typo: discent should be discern. Thank you, David Linzee and English. That clarifies things. I don't know why that wasn't appa…moreFirst of all, excuse my typo: discent should be discern. Thank you, David Linzee and English. That clarifies things. I don't know why that wasn't apparent to me when I was reading.(less)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I confess that I wasn’t a fan of the Paris Wife and I liked Circling the Sun even less but Love and Ruin was a success for me. Historical fiction, this novel chronicles the relationship between Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn whom he met while still married to his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer. I think Gellhorn was the draw for me. I’ve always been fascinated by her bravery and commitment as she became a renowned war correspondent and paved the way for other female reports who followed. Hemingway ...more
Angela M
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
4+ stars.
A good work of historical fiction for me is one in which the author perfectly sets the stage of what is happening around the characters not just with what is specifically happening with them. Starting with the prologue and continuing throughout, Paula McLain does a fabulous job of depicting the time and all of the places and what was happening in the world not just in the private and sometimes not so private world of Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway. Even with this broad view of th
Diane S ☔
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I first started this, although I enjoyed the history of the Spanish Civil War, I wasn't all too sure I would like this. The writing seemed somewhat emotionless, matter of fact, pragmatic,but then something changed. I found Martha fascinating, and the descriptions of Cuba were gorgeous, and I settles into this novel. So much history is covered, Gelhorn determined to be everywhere and chronicle everything, all the while dealing with Hemingway and his mood changes,and trying to write her own b ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 this is exactly the kind of historical fiction I can sink my teeth into stars to Love and Ruin! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Happy Publication Day to Love and Ruin!

Love and Ruin is exactly the kind of historical fiction I can sink my teeth into because of the time period, the characters, the flawless writing, and the tumultuous love story between Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway.

Hemingway is a favorite author of mine, and I’m always game to learn more about his life. My high school English teacher assigned
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love and Ruin by Paula McClain is a 2018 Ballantine Books publication.

Vivid and pulsing with atmosphere- but a very challenging read.
Wow, Paula McClain can really draw a person into a specific time zone and leave them mesmerized by the political climate, the danger, the romance, and larger than life characters the book is centered around.

I loved ‘The Paris Wife’, the fictional account of Hemingway and his first wife. The suspense in TPW was on a more personal and emotional level. But, with Ma
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
This novel chronicles the journalistic rise of Martha Gellhorn and her relationship with Ernest Hemingway. Maybe I’ve just read too many books about Hemingway and those that he loved, hurt, destroyed, etc. but this book was just an average read for me.

Ms. Gellhorn was still struggling to find her career path when she and her family met Hemingway while in vacation in Key West, Florida. He convinces her to come to Spain with him and report on the civil war going on there, she is able to secure a
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, netgalley
4 stars
Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for sending me this e ARC.
This book is a fictionalized story of the relationship/marriage/divorce between Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway. Martha was Hemingway's 3rd wife. They started an affair while Hemingway was still married to his 2nd wife. Until I read this book, I was not aware that she wrote several books, in addition to being one of the first woman war journalists. She covered wars from the Spanish civil war to Vietnam and Panama.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Paula McLain is an outstanding historical fiction writer, and her three most recent novels have transported me to a vividly recreated time and place with very real and well-drawn characters. “Circling The Sun” was one of my favorite books of 2015. However, because “Love and Ruin” and “The Paris Wife” highlighted Hemingway’s abysmal treatment of women, particularly his wives, those books weren’t a comfortable read for me. That’s no reflection on McLain’s writing skill, in fact it’s a testament to ...more
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars

This book focuses on Ernest Hemingway’s third wife, Martha Gellhorn. Martha was a respected and celebrated person with many accomplishments. She was a war correspondent for 60 years, and an author in her own right, but the times were such that Ernest Hemingway often overshadowed her.

The best parts of the book are Martha's travels as a correspondent, along with the descriptions of the Spanish Civil War, and the events leading up to WWII. She was very driven, independent, and adventurous,
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I only moderately enjoyed Paula McLain’s last two books, but I had seen other reviews which said this book was better. But I can’t say I found it to be much of an improvement. In the beginning, Martha Gelhorn comes off as the stereotypical socialite rebelling against her background. And for all her talk of independence, Marty never feels complete without a man.

She quickly meets Ernest Hemingway and he sweeps her into a different life. I actually had to do the math. He comes off as much older th
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I don’t usually react to books based on my like or dislike of characters. I can dislike a character but love a book because it is well written. In this case, somehow my dislike for Hemingway — as a person, not an author — affected my reaction to Love and Ruin.

The novel is a fictionalized account of a few years in Martha Gellhorn’s life. She was married to Hemingway for four years around World War II. Gellhorn herself is fascinating. She was a war correspondent for most of her life —clea
J.L.   Sutton
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Paula McLain's Love and Ruin is a fascinating account of Ernest Hemingway's third wife, Martha Gellhorn. One of the reasons I liked this novel better than The Paris Wife had to do with Martha Gellhorn herself. She seemed a more fully realized person and character than first wife, Hadley Richardson. Gellhorn had a life apart from Hemingway which made her interesting in her own right. Her whole world was not Ernest Hemingway. She was a war correspondent in the Spanish Civil War and in various plac ...more
This book could easily have been a slam dunk for me - two celebrated and iconic historical characters falling in and out of love against the backdrop of World War II. Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway live huge lives, working and traveling the world in some of the most turbulent times in modern history. Both of their stars are rising; Gellhorn as an author and war correspondent and Hemingway at the peak of his career as the celebrated author of "For Whom The Bell Tolls." Gellhorn wants love a ...more
Martie Nees Record
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Genre: Biographical Historical Fiction
Publisher: Random House
Pub. Date: May 1, 2018

The author, Paula McLain, has made a career writing historical fiction memoirs. Her most popular novel, “The Paris Wife” is a fictionalized account of Ernest Hemingway’s marriage to Hadley Richardson. Hadley is Ernest’s starter wife. He had four wives by the time of his death. While married to Richardson, Hemingway wrote, “A Moveable Feast,” his classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s. In McLain’s next novel, “Circl
Elyse  Walters
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 strong stars from me...

I wasn’t dying to read this book, when it first was released ...
....( not opposed to it....just didn’t feel a strong pull.
Then I read a recent review ( thank you Sara)...and I knew I wanted to read this, sooner than later.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Historical Fiction...;possibility my favorite McLain book to date.....REALLY REALLY A GREAT BOOK.
.....the history about the Spanish war, and pre-WWII, passion and details about writing from two writers, ( some very thought-p
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Love and Ruin is historical fiction centered around Martha Gellhorn, her career and her relationship with Ernest Hemingway. I knew little of Gellhorn before reading the book, but liked her character quite a bit in the story. Both Gellhorn and Hemingway are writers, meeting in Key a West while Gellhorn is on a family trip. They both travel to Spain on journalistic assignments during WWII, where their romance begins, and eventually settle in Cuba. Their relationship is tumultuous with many ups and ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
"Why is it that a man can do his work and just get on with it, but a woman has to drop everything for her place at home or else she's selfish?"

I actually liked this book more than I expected because it focused on the frequently-faced problem of whether a woman can still have a career after marriage. Martha Gellhorn was a budding war correspondent when she met Ernest Hemingway, who was nine years her senior and already on his second wife with whom he had two sons.

Judging Hemingway by today's se
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
4 obsession stars

There are some people who are driven. It can become an obsession that ultimately destroys what is good, what is needed, and even love if it is allowed to continue unabated.

For Ernest Hemingway, his obsession with life and writing was eventually something that would be his downfall. He was a person who believed himself to be bigger than life, perhaps even better that life itself. He was in so many ways his own sunshine and the people who fell at his feet nurtured that in him. Wh
(3.5) This is the weakest of the three McLain novels that I’ve read, but when we’re talking about a writer of this caliber that isn’t actually so much of a criticism. It’s strange to me that, having written a novel from the perspective of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife (The Paris Wife), McLain would choose to tell the story of another Hemingway wife – this time Martha Gellhorn, a war reporter and author in her own right. When excellent books like Naomi Wood’s Mrs. Hemingway ...more
This is a book about Martha Gellhorn’s years of marriage to Ernest Hemingway. Her life (1908-1998) has been in many ways eclipsed by his (1899-1961). She became Hemingway’s third wife, the first being Hadley Richardson married to Ernest Hemingway from 1921-1927, the second being Pauline Pfeiffer from 1927 to 1940, the third being Martha Gellhorn from 1940 to 1945 and finally Mary Welsh Hemingway from 1946 to 1961.

Th book is divided into parts, each dated and in chronological order, starting in J
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4+ stars
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed by Stacey on

If I’m perfectly honest I had never heard of Martha Gellhorn until I started reading this book. I also knew little about Ernest Hemingway beyond his home in Key West Florida, the six-toed cats he kept or his boat, Pilar. Of course, I knew his novels – though I have never read any of them. So you might be wondering what made me read a book about the life of a woman I’d never heard of before and her love affair with a man I knew little about? Tru
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am weary of reading about characters that I don't care about and this book has no one I really enjoyed with the exception of Martha Gellhorn's mother. I have long thought of Ernest Hemingway as the Harvey Weinstein of his generation and this book did not change my mind at all. He has no trouble sleeping around on his wife (which ever one it is at the time) and thinks the world revolves around him. He calls them nicknames like Mother, Daughter, or Rabbit. All diminish them as a person.

Still ,
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I just want to say before I review LOVE AND RUIN by Paula McLain that I read CIRCLING THE SUN by the author a couple of years ago and it's one of those books that I fell in love with and I still remember how great the reading experience was. I have yet to read THE PARIS WIFE (it stands and looks accusingly at me on a shelf at home), but I hope to get to it one day.

The book describes the relationship of Ernest Miller Hemingway and his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, a talented journalist and writer. They first meet in Key West, then re-connect in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. He falls in love with her and leaves his second wife. But the competition soon gets to them.

"Ernest always said there was a season for everything. A season to love and be loved. To work and rest your bones and your spirit. To dream and to doubt, to fear and to fly. What se
David Dennington
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 STARS. Caution: there are spoilers if you don't know the story of Gellhorn and Hemingway. Paula McLain is one of my favorite authors. Writing is like channeling. Scratch that. Writing is channeling. Paula M has done this with her new book Love and Ruin. I loved The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun and looked forward to Ms McLain’s latest book which jumps a wife, from Hemingway’s first, to his third, Martha Gellhorn. It seemed as though it was a case of ‘what goes around, comes around’ for Fif ...more
Paula McLain has done it again and perhaps even exceeded The Paris Wife in her continuing look at the loves and marriages of Ernest Hemingway. How fascinating to know that Hemingway's third wife, Martha Gellhorn, was a writer and journalist in her own right and owed little if anything to the fame of her famous husband.

What an amazing woman Marty Gellhorn was! She did things as a war journalist that would have struck fear into the hearts of most men, and she did them right through into her eighti
Connie G
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Martha Gellhorn was an accomplished war correspondent and writer, as well as the third wife of Ernest Hemingway. Paula McLain's "The Paris Wife" introduced us to Hadley Richardson and Pauline Pfeiffer, Hemingway's first and second wives. "Love and Ruin" is a novel covering the years when Gellhorn and Hemingway were together.

Gellhorn and Hemingway met at a Key West bar, and became good friends. He encouraged her to journey to Spain to report on the Spanish Civil War in 1937. As a journalist Gellh
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
I so loved this one. Her best yet. Full review to follow.
I didn't like The Paris Wife by this author. So I wasn't sure if I'd like this book. But this story of the third wife of Ernest Hemingway is so different.

This is a story of Martha Gellhorn, a remarkable woman who “became one of the twentieth century’s most significant and celebrated war correspondents, reporting on virtually every major conflict for sixty years – from the Spanish Civil War to the Bay of Pigs, from Vietnam to El Salvador to Panama, where she covered the invasion at the age of eig
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Paula McLain is the author of the New York Times and internationally bestselling novels, The Paris Wife, Circling the Sun and Love and Ruin. Now she introduces When the Stars Go Dark (April 13, 2021), an atmospheric novel of intertwined destinies and heart-wrenching suspense. She received an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan in 1996, and is also the author of two collections of poetry, ...more

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