Love And Ruin by Paula MclainLove And Ruin by Paula Mclain

Love And Ruin

byPaula Mclain

Hardcover | May 1, 2018

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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 Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in the devastating conflict. It's the adventure she's been looking for and her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. But she also finds herself unexpectedly—and uncontrollably—falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend.

In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest's relationship and their professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man's wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that could force her to break his heart, and hers.

Heralded by Ann Patchett as "the new star of historical fiction," Paula McLain brings Gellhorn's story richly to life and captures her as a heroine for the ages: a woman who will risk absolutely everything to find her own voice.
PAULA McLAIN is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Circling The Sun, The Paris Wife and A Ticket to Ride, the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses and two collections of poetry. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Clevela...
Title:Love And RuinFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 9.6 × 6.5 × 1.3 inPublished:May 1, 2018Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385691785

ISBN - 13:9780385691789

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Write This Way


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reading again already! I loved it, as I have all of McLain’s books. This one was especially emotionally complex.
Date published: 2018-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome read Refreshing, insightful, intriguing and heart breaking. An emotional ride like no other.
Date published: 2018-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I enjoyed this! Kept me reading from start to finish! I recommend this book! Most definitely! #plumreview
Date published: 2018-05-04

Bookclub Guide

1. Martha tells us from the outset that, for better or worse, she is a born traveler. What kind of expectation does that set up about her personality and disposition? What character traits might “born travelers” have that others don’t?2. Just before Martha meets Ernest, her father dies. How might that make her more impressionable or susceptible to Ernest’s influence?3. How would you describe Martha’s outlook as she heads off to Madrid? What are her reasons for going? What did the war seem to mean to her, and to others who volunteered?4. When Martha begins to feel Ernest is drawn to her physically, she initially resists, saying he’s “too Hemingway.” What does she mean by that? What is she afraid of?5. Martha tells us that after three weeks in Madrid she felt she never wanted to leave, saying, “It was like living with my heart constantly in my throat.” How could that feeling be perceived as positive? What are some of things she loves about Spain? About her circle of friends and colleagues at the Hotel Florida? 6. When Martha finds the house in Cuba, the Finca Vigía, she falls in love with it instantly, even though it’s in ruins. Why? What does she hope to gain by restoring the property and living there with Ernest? What are the risks?7. When Martha accepts the assignment to travel to Finland for Collier’s, Ernest says teasingly to their group of friends in Sun Valley that she’s abandoning him. Is it really a joke or is there significant tension brewing? What are Martha’s reasons for going? How does she feel about her work in relation to her personal life? Can the two coexist? Can she—or anyone—have everything?8. Though Martha is the one who chooses the Finca as a “beautiful foxhole” to share with Ernest, the house eventually begins to weigh on her. Why? What is draining to her about domesticity? Does Ernest have the same ambivalence? Why or why not?9. Although Martha loves Ernest and doesn’t want to give up her life with him, she has a lot of trepidation about marrying him. Why? What factors contribute to her anxiety? What does she stand to lose?10. When For Whom the Bell Tolls is published in 1940, it’s a runaway success, selling more copies than any American novel before it save Gone with the Wind. How do the book’s success and Ernest’s intensifying fame challenge Martha as his wife? What about as a writer?11. When Martha and Ernest go off to China, they’re both working as reporters in search of a story. How do their journalistic methods differ? Are they different kinds of travelers, with different worldviews? Would you say they’re compatible? Why or why not?12. As the world plunges toward war, Martha feels increasingly compelled to go to Europe to try to write about what’s happening, while Ernest becomes obsessed with his sub-hunting “mission.” What are the instincts that pull them in opposite directions? Do we understand what drives them? Do they understand and have compassion for each other, or are they spiraling toward an impasse?13. When Martha is finally convinced she must go to Europe to report on the war if she’s going to live with herself, Ernest feels more and more despondent and abandoned. Finally, he betrays her by taking her correspondent’s credentials from Collier’s, effectively replacing her on the masthead and making a place at the front lines impossible for her. Can we comprehend his actions and find empathy for him? Why or why not?14. When the marriage disintegrates beyond repair, Ernest almost immediately finds a new love interest in Mary Welsh (who will become Mrs. Hemingway #4), while Martha turns to her work to ease her pain, finding strength in reclaiming her name and her independence. Do you think their contrasting strategies for surviving heartbreak symbolize the essential differences between Martha and Ernest as people? And do you believe that two such very different personalities could ever hope to find lasting happiness together?

Editorial Reviews

A New York Times Bestseller"Propulsive. . . . Highly engaging . . . . McLain does an excellent job portraying a woman with dreams who isn't afraid to make them real, showing her bravery in what was very much a man's world." —The New York Times"If love and war are two of the greatest themes in literature, they're both here. . . . McLain's dialogue, is, as Hem might say, good and true. She captures the passion Gellhorn and Hemingway feel for each other, and the slow erosion of trust on both sides." —USA Today"Wonderfully evocative. . . . McLain's fans will not be disappointed; this is historical fiction at its best, and today's female readers will be encouraged by Martha, who refuses to be silenced or limited in a time that was harshly repressive for women." —Library Journal, starred review "McLain has perfected her dramatic and lyrical approach to biographical fiction . . . bring[ing] forth the deepest, most ringing elements of both 'love and ruin,' the two poles of Marty and Ernest's tempestuous relationship, a ferocious contest between two brilliant, willful and intrepid writers. McLain's fast-moving, richly insightful, heart-wrenching and sumptuously written tale pays exhilarating homage to its truly exceptional and significant inspiration." —Booklist, starred review "McLain strikingly depicts Martha Gellhorn's burgeoning career as a writer and war correspondent during the years of her affair with and marriage to Ernest Hemingway. . . . Gellhorn emerges as a fierce trailblazer every bit Hemingway's equal in this thrilling book." —Publishers Weekly"Romance, infidelity, war—Paula McLain's powerhouse novel has it all." —Glamour"Absorbing. . . . McLain portrays Gellhorn as a complex, multi-faceted character." —Winnipeg Free Press"Engrossing. . . . [Love and Ruin] spotlights a woman ahead of her time—a fearless reporter who covered the major conflicts of the twentieth century." —Real Simple"McLain successfully turns Martha's story into a romantic quest and Martha into a romantic heroine." —Washington Post"Among McLain's historical portraits of feisty women who fall for feisty men, Gellhorn holds her own. . . . McLain does a good job of weaving factual details into a well-constructed narrative." —The Boston Globe"McLain's ability to base a work of fiction on real people is nothing short of superb. Readers may pick up Love and Ruin because of their obsession with Ernest Hemingway, but they'll fall in love with it because of Marty Gellhorn." —BookPage"The outlines of Hemingway's life and loves are well known. But Gellhorn is less familiar: though she had a long and successful career as a journalist and novelist, she fought constantly to keep from being suffocated by the shadow of the man she loved. Love and Ruin, with its mesmerizing arc, shines with a similar light, and readers will find it impossible to look away." —Shelf Awareness"McLain takes another successful trip into historical fiction. . . . Readers will have to remind themselves that this is fiction as McLain draws a finely detailed portrait of the chaos and destruction spreading across Spain. . . . Read [Love and Ruin] for the life lessons McLain shares by making readers care about two flawed people in a turbulent period of world history." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch"McLain's strengths as a novelist are formidable, especially her ability to evoke a strong sense of time and place, whether it be the wreckage of war-torn Spain or the festive atmosphere of Cuba, where Gellhorn and Hemingway had a home." —Houston Chronicle