Wishlist Wednesday | Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood

Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood Book Cover

Source: Goodreads

[Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop hosted by Pen to Paper]

There have been quite a few books about the Jazz Age lately, from The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler, and now Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood. What is interesting about these three novels is that they chose to present the point of view of Hemingway and Fitzgerald’s wife/wives as opposed to giving us another male-centered book. I’m not going to lie; I find this to be a refreshing change.

I read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald in April. Like many other literature lovers, I am very intrigued by the whole era and the men that dominated the American literary scene in those years. Shamefully, I can admit that I didn’t think much about their wives. But as I was reading the book, I couldn’t help but hope that Zelda could be strong and stand up for herself when it seemed like Fitzgerald wasn’t being a great husband/partner. I wanted her to be able to find her own passions and meaning in life other than being someone’s wife. I wanted her to be able to live freely and do as she pleased. I’ll leave you to read the book or read a biography of the Fitzgeralds to find out if she succeeds, but I am glad that the spotlight has shifted to the women of these famous and revered authors.

One thing that I felt shock for when reading Z was my dislike for Hemingway. With everything I learned about him I seemed to like him less. I don’t know if it’s because younger me didn’t know that much about his family life or if I’ve grown in terms of the way I perceive relationships between men and women and our gender balance (or lack thereof?) but he really did not come off as a great man or husband. Because of this, I am intrigued and nervous to read more about him.

That being said, Shannon from River City Reading highly recommends Mrs. Hemingway, a book told from all four of Hemingway’s wives’ point of views, and because I respect Shannon’s opinions, this book is now on my radar as well. I’m interested to see whether my opinion of Hemingway will change with this reading or if my feelings will continue along the path that it has been going… I can’t wait to add this to my bookshelf so I can find out for myself!

Do you have any thoughts about Ernest Hemingway? Are you a fan? Did you add any new books to your wishlist this week? Let me know!

18 thoughts on “Wishlist Wednesday | Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood

  1. rivercityreading says:

    Sadly, I’m not sure you’re going to come out with a different opinion of Hemingway from reading this, but the section from the perspective of his last wife (who he was with the longest), is really gorgeous and does shine a bit of light on him.

  2. writereads says:

    I am a huge Hemingway fan, and I’m very interested in reading this book. My only fear is that he will be vilified. Hemingway bashing has been popular ever since he became a public figure. He is as much to blame for this as anyone else, as he developed and nurtured a public persona. He delighted in it, in fact. However, as is often the case with “big personalities,” he was hiding a great deal of insecurity and vulnerability behind this facade. You may not like everything he did, or thought, or believed in, but if you read Carlos Baker’s The Collected Letters of Ernest Hemingway, you can’t help developing an affection for him, in spite of it all. I’m always in tears by the end. – Kirt

  3. sapna sricharan says:

    I have been hearing quite a bit about ‘The Paris Wife’ and I have been curious about it. I have read a bit of Hemingway but I don’t know much about him. Both Hemingway and Fitzgerald are people I want to know more about. I have been a bit hesitant to pick up ‘The Paris Wife’ because a fictionalisation and it has been my experience that fictionalised biographies rarely do justice to all the people involved. They tend to paint the people in the story a little too black or a little too white. So while I’m intrigued by ‘Mrs Hemingway’, this is a novel too so I don’t know how much of it will be the honest truth.

    • kmn04books says:

      True. I think that there will definitely be a bit of fictionalization in this one as well. I guess take everything you read with a grain of salt! It’s impossible for us to know the full details of every story we read, whether it be fictional or real!

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