In the first few minutes I had reasons to eagerly anticipate this book. Sadly, it never lived up to my expectations. What was apparent to me is that the author lacked the grasp of what the 1930s were truly like, and, after the first anachronism ("para-legals" in 1938? They were still just "secretaries"--not even "assistants," as many are called now), I lost faith in the story as well as the Main Character, who told the story. Very much needed: fully fleshed out and believable characters throughout. Listing the "Rules" at the end? Silly. Even sillier that it was actually read aloud.
This is a lovely story that was extremely well narrated. It is so well performed that I found myself completely inhabiting the soul of the protagnist, even as I wanted to shake sense into her. Each of the other characters was also made incredibly real. A highly recommended book.
In this historical fiction, Paula McLain gives wonderful voice to Hadley, Hemingway's first wife and the driving force behind his early success. It is wonderfully evocative and I suggest a follow up of listening to A Moveable Feast, the latest edition, which is the least edited and most true to his actual writing, containing many passages, in mulitple forms, that were edited out of the posthumously published original. One thing you will also notice: what a wonderful job McLain does in capturing the essence of the character of Hadley in her book--because Hemmingway's writing mirrors it exactly.
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