Love and Ruin - Paula McLain

Love and Ruin

By Paula McLain

  • Release Date: 2018-05-01
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4
From 172 Ratings


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The bestselling author of The Paris Wife brings to life the story of Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious woman ahead of her time, who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • New York Public Library • Bloomberg • Real Simple

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 her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. There she also finds herself unexpectedly—and unwillingly—falling in love with Ernest Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend.

On the eve of World War II, and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest’s relationship and 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 forge a path as her own woman and writer.

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.

Praise for Love and Ruin

“In this heart-tugging follow-up [to The Paris Wife], we meet Martha Gellhorn, a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War, who was the third—and perhaps most intriguing—of [Hemingway's] wives. The title says it all.”People

“Propulsive . . . highly engaging . . . McLain does an excellent job portraying a woman with dreams who isn’t afraid to make them real. . . . Her work around the world . . . is presented in meticulous, hair-raising passages. . . . The book is fueled by her questing spirit, which asks, Why must a woman decide between being a war correspondent and a wife in her husband’s bed?”The New York Times Book Review

“[The] scenes of professional rivalry and seesawing imbalance are some of McLain’s best. . . . McLain’s legions of fans will relish the inspiration of a gutsy woman who discovers she doesn’t need a man at her side, after all.”The Boston Globe


  • Love and Ruin

    By Readingbythesea
    Very good read hard to put down.
  • Love and Ruin

    By bgretch
    I didn’t enjoy this as much as the Paris Wife. It was too long and too repetitive.
  • Ghfy

    By hghyfrno

    By Livre Amour
    PORTRAIT of a WRITER as a HEMINGWAY WIFE Paula McClain is an archaeologist who carefully sifts through the relics of Hemingway marriages. LOVE AND RUIN, her second such foray after THE PARIS WIFE, reveals the complex life of Martha Gellhorn, famous war correspondent and Papa’s only spouse brave enough to leave him. She was his third of four wives. TORTURED INSECURITY McClain paints Gellhorn as a young woman beset by insecurities, the end of an affair with a married man, and the loss of a father who never fully accepts her. She is ripe for a tortured relationship with Ernest, which she enters with eyes wide open. WRITING AS HAPPINESS Insecurity informs her writing too, which she sublimates to her relationships — a clearly accepted choice at the time, although one that troubles her, as she knows writing is essential to her happiness. WAR STORIES Gellhorn feels compelled to tell the stories she witnesses in Spain, Germany and Finland of Everyman in war ... and of Everywoman and child as well. In doing so, she fulfills a deep sense of purpose. This gives her the courage to eventually move out of her husband’s suffocating shadow into her own light. LOVELY VALENTINE Although the story takes time to root, McClain woos us from the start with her gorgeous descriptive writing. I highly recommend this Portrait of a Writer as a Young Woman, McClain’s lovely Valentine to the gutsy Martha Gellhorn.