Beginning in the summer of 1926, Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley move from Paris to a villa in the south of France. Spending their time drinking, swimming and playing cards they mix with a bevy of guests including Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and the seemingly ever-present Pauline (Fife) Pfeiffer. As Fife progresses from her role as the great writer’s lover, to being Mrs Hemingway, we follow the shifting relationships between Ernest and his four wives, and those of the wives with each other.
Moving between Paris, Florida, Cuba and London, this is a work of fiction that imagines scenes from the points of view of all four wives, as they take on the mantle of being Hemingway’s other half. The author’s vivid descriptions are beautifully drawn, as she conjures up a real sense of each of Hemingway’s houses and locations. The colours and smells seemed to lift right off the page, transporting me into each one as if I were sitting there watching the stories unfold in real life.
Beautifully written and totally captivating. I loved it from the first page. More please.
Sounds fascinating, Colin. I read a fictional ‘autobiography’ of Zelda Fitzgerald a couple of years ago (can’t remember who wrote it) but it was a wonderful window on the world at that time and in that set.
Yes, it’s nice when fiction slides into a possible version of the person’s real life.