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Mrs. Hemingway


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The story of the most famous writer of his generation and the four extraordinary women who married him.

About the Author

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 lived in Hong Kong, Paris and Washington DC, and her research for Mrs Hemingway took her from the British Library to the Hemingway archives at universities in Boston and Yale, and to the Hemingway heritage homes in Chicago, Florida and Cuba.


This is a wonderful book: carefully written, richly imagined and emotionally wise . . . It is all meticulously researched, but, as in the best of Penelope Fitzgerald, the research is worn lightly and never threatens to dominate . . . Even the well-known details of Hemingway's life are made fresh, given a new significance . . . Mrs. Hemingway feels truer than most of the biographies, and more real than many novels. Wood's method is an effective way of getting to grips with the central enigma: Hemingway himself, a man tortured by masculinity. But it is also a sensitive and moving evocation of those women he depended on, who his life often overshadowed * Daily Telegraph *
`It takes an unusual skill to keep someone reading a story to which they think they already know the ending. But Mrs. Hemingway is so beautifully written, and evocative, that I could not put it down until the last page' Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You
`Forget everything you thought you knew about Ernest Hemingway's four wives. In a quartet of searing interlocked portraits, Naomi Wood brings vividly to life the real women who loved and lost the legendary charmer and great writer. Mrs. Hemingway is a luminous, heartbreaking novel. Wood is a writer to watch.' Ellen Feldman, author of Scottsboro and Next to Love
A luminous, intoxicating look at the most important women in the life of a celebrated novelist . . . A passionate novel based on real lives, full of betrayals and moments of heartbreaking intimacy as Wood gives four remarkable women star billing * Marie Claire *
A fascinating, astutely observed, gorgeously written account of the Hemingway wives and their charismatic, enigmatic, troubled and troublesome husband. This is a gem of a book. -- Therese Anne Fowler, author of * Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald *
The elegiac final chapters are beautifully achieved . . . the elegant prose and finely-wrought narrative of this humane novel exceed the sum of its parts * Independent *
This really is my book of the year so far. It is completely delicious on female friendship and competitiveness and fancying someone til you go a bit mad. And the fact that said women (the four Mrs Hemingways) are all uniquely formidable and glamorous is doubly fabulous -- Alexandra Heminsley
Mrs. Hemingway gives voice to his four wives - Hadley, Pauline, Martha and Mary - and Naomi Wood's talent is in portraying them all as individual and strong but sympathetic women. Exquisitely written, the Mrs Hemingways finally have their say in this beautiful novel' * Stylist *
[Wood writes] beautifully, with an eye for the perfect detail -- Lucy Atkins * Sunday Times *
Mrs. Hemingway delves into the lives of Ernest Hemingway's four wives, Wood's meticulous research informing four beautifully written and empathetic novellas. -- Hot Books of 2014 * Daily Express *
Exquisite. Naomi Wood writes with lightness and grace, deftly evoking history and character and plunging us straight into the heart of each woman's story. Hemingway's wives dance off the page and the reader dances with them, entranced. -- Sarah Butler, author of * Ten Things I've Learnt About Love *
Wood's talent is in making us sympathise with each of the four Mrs Hemingways when they have their turn in the spotlight in this dazzling, gorgeously written novel -- Best Books in February * Stylist *
When the facts of a particular story are in the public domain, the characters lifted from history and the ending already written, what the reader needs is something magical to transport them into the beating heart of that story. In Mrs. Hemingway, Naomi Wood is one such magician. She quilts the facts together masterfully, seamlessly moving between past and present. But, it is the tiny details, the individual stitches, which she possesses with truly supernatural powers: sawdust, the tang of lime, the touch of silk on skin, champagne, cigarette smoke and the 'stirless air'; these are the things that breathe life into the overwhelming, irresistible love these four women felt for this one man, until it's almost as though Ernest Hemingway is in the room, asking the reader to love him too. -- Claire Dyer, author of * The Moment *
A beautiful read and an amazing insight into the life of the man described as a "semi-serial monogamist" who wrote books that "sold like iced daiquiris in hell." Superb * Red *
I couldn't resist Mrs. Hemingway . . . I'm very glad I didn't. It's marvellous. I think it's the best book I've read this year: in fact, in a long, long time. The writing is flawless, and combined with the subject, it reminded me why I love writing and reading -- Emma Chapman, author of * How to Be a Good Wife *
Wood handsomely compares the varying degrees of reluctance with which each wife passed the baton to the next . . . Each of the female characters are rich creations * The Times *
Exquisitely written . . . The pull of this novel is its heartbreaking honesty . . . a remarkable tour de force' * Drafted *
Well researched, cleverly done . . . But the pleasures of Mrs Hemingway are not purely architectural. Controlled modulations of voice offer delightfully bald observation - and, with free indirect discourse, deft characterisation * Literary Review *
The superb Mrs. Hemingway gives us Ernest Hemingway as seen through the eyes of his four wives . . . Very occasionally, a piece of fiction based on facts is so good that I catch myself thinking: "Oh, so that's how it really was." Wood achieves this in this breathtakingly good look at the lives of Ernest Hemingway's four wives, passing the baton of the narrative from one to the next so we witness the development of the writer and the man through the eyes of the women he married. Sublime. * The Bookseller *
Excellent biography-as-fiction novel. It introduces you to Hemingway's world - and, to some extent, his work (because he's always writing - when he's not drinking or trying to move onto the next wife) - but it does this in an entirely unpretentious and relaxed way, without ever patronising you as a reader or assuming too much knowledge on your part. That's a real tightrope to walk and Naomi Wood, who won critical acclaim for her debut novel The Godless Boys, glides across it effortlessly . . . a beautifully written crash course on a great writer who - at least to the women in his life - was very often not a great man. -- Viv Groskop * Red *
A wonderful novel about Hemingway and the women who adored him -- Best Books of 2014 * Telegraph *
An effective combination of expert knowledge and artistic licence . . . a tightly written page-turner that satisfyingly captures the atmosphere of the times -- Michael Palin, Best Books of 2014 * Guardian *

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