Paula McLain

New York Times bestselling author

News and Reviews

“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

“McLain’s engrossing novel dives into their relationship but also spotlights a woman ahead of her time—a fearless reporter who covered the major conflicts of the 20th century.” Real Simple

“Romance, infidelity, war—Paula McLain’s powerhouse novel has it all.” Glamour

“Electrifying . . . McLain’s fast-moving, richly insightful, heartwrenching, and sumptuously written tale pays exhilarating homage to its truly exceptional and significant inspiration.” Booklist (starred review)

“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)

“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

“If you loved McLain’s 2011 blockbuster The Paris Wife, you’re sure to adore her new novel, which is just as good, if not better.” AARP

“McLain crafts a wonderful portrait of her characters and the settings… an absorbing exploration of the ‘greatest journalist of the 20th century’ and her marriage to one of the century’s greatest writers.” Romantic Times

“In The Paris Wife, McLain introduced us to Hemingway’s first bride. In this heart-tugging follow-up, we meet Martha Gellhorn, a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War, who was the third—and perhaps most intriguing—of his wives. Fueled by passion and ambition, their love powers over continents—before crashing hard. The title says it all.” People

“If love and war are two of the greatest themes in literature, they’re both here as McLain fashions her portrait of ‘Marty’ Gellhorn. . . . 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

“Martha is another finely etched heroine, but of an entirely different sort. She is independent and ambitious, and her career comes first—something she learns the hard way. . . . McLain successfully turns Martha’s story into a romantic quest and Martha into a romantic heroine—though not a traditional one. Her active agency in her own fate offers a more attractive trajectory than that of Hadley, who just gets left behind. The book closes with Martha at Dachau and Belsen just before V-E Day. Freed from her connection to Ernest, her life is subsumed into a larger struggle, her presence — passionate and ambitious — established on a world stage.” The Washington Post

“McLain takes another successful trip into historical fiction with Love and Ruin, which imagines all the steamy, stormy details of the love affair and marriage between the two writers in the 1930s and ’40s…. Don’t read [it] looking for a love story; read it 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

Love and Ruin is expertly written with well-timed pacing, wonderful descriptions, and themes that will inspire and stay with you long after the final page has been turned.”

“This novel is a beautiful story of love and loss. McLain has magically immersed herself into Gellhorn’s character and given voice to her struggle for success and her own professional identity. As well as being a love story, this is also an excellent portrayal of a dramatic period of history, full of evocative description. Furthermore, it is a book, written by a talented writer, McLain, about two other talented writers, busy writing. The passages where Gellhorn and Hemingway are writing and/or struggling to write, are fascinating to read.”
Historical Novels Review

“Highly engaging… Aside from the twists and turns of their stormy marriage, 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. [Gellhorn’s] work around the world — particularly her presence on the Normandy beaches on D-Day — is presented in meticulous, hair-raising passages.”
New York Times Book Review


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