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Mrs. Hemingway    by Naomi Wood order for
Mrs. Hemingway
by Naomi Wood
Order:  USA  Can
Penguin, 2014 (2014)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In the summer of 1926, Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley are living the high life. To escape the heat of Paris, they are in a villa in the south of France. They live the lives of dilettantes, swimming, playing bridge and emptying gin bottles too quickly.

The only blur in their lives is Fife. Glamorous and irrepressible, Fife is Hadley's best friend as well as Hemingway's lover. She is their constant companion. Hadley is the first Mrs. Hemingway. Though she finally bows to Hemingway and Fife's wishes and divorces him, the two women remain friends!

Fife lasts for a number of years and produces Bumby, their son. But her sun sets on their marriage and Hemingway moves on to wife number three. Martha outlasts the others, and gives birth to two sons. But that tie is not enough to hold Hemingway and he moves on to wife number four, Mary, who was his last.

Anyone who could live with the man deserved a lot of credit. They all loved him but had great difficulty bowing to his slightest whims, which were frequent and often nonsensical. He rose to the top of his profession, writing books that were printed in many different languages. His inner demons, however, were too much, apparently, for him to fight any more. He ended his own life and left quite a legacy behind.

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