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  New York Times Review

THE RECOVERING: Intoxication and Its Aftermath, by Leslie Jamison. (Back Bay/Little, Brown, $18.99.) Jamison, adding to a large group of addiction memoirs, maps her own recovery while considering the relationship between creativity and substance abuse. The emotional firepower of the book comes in its second half, after she has embraced sobriety; our critic, Dwight Garner, called this section "close to magnificent, and genuinely moving." LOVE AND RUIN, by Paula McLain. (Ballantine, $17.) McLain's latest novel, about the marriage between the journalist Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway, takes up the question that vexed (and probably doomed) their relationship: Why must a woman choose between her career and what her husband wants her to be? McLain drew on primary sources to develop her fiery protagonist. A WORLD WITHOUT 'WHOM': The Essential Guide to Language in the BuzzFeed Age, by Emmy J. Favilla. (Bloomsbury, $18.) The BuzzFeed copy chief discusses her plan to codify language in a digital era, balancing a need for logic with flexibility to account for how people actually talk. Along with a look at the rules she devised, the book offers a guide to the quandaries we face as the way we communicate online reshapes language itself. MADNESS IS BETTER THAN DEFEAT, by Ned Beauman. (Vintage, $17.) Emboldened by "fungal clairvoyance" after inhaling mold in an old temple, a C.I.A. agent tells the story of a fateful meeting in the Honduran jungle in 1938. The novel's twists and turns touch on everything from colonialism to conspiracy theories. Our reviewer, Helene Stapinski, called the story "a kitchen-sink sendup of spy novels, 1930s Hollywood and screwball newspaper comedies, with a pinch of Pynchon thrown in for fun." ENLIGHTENMENT NOW: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, by Steven Pinker. (Penguin, $18.) Pinker sets out to persuade pessimists - people disturbed by today's threats like climate change and the rise of authoritarian populism across the globe - of one thing: that life has never been better, both in the West and in developing countries. The Harvard psychologist marshals an impressive array of data to back up his claim. ETERNAL LIFE, by Dara Horn. (Norton, $15.95.) When readers meet Rachel, she's a suburban great-grandmother in the 21st century. But that life is only the latest in a string of reincarnations, the consequences of a promise she made in Roman-occupied Jerusalem some 2,000 years earlier. Horn's elegant novel explores how Rachel's immortality impedes her ability to be fully, truly alive.

  Library Journal Review

Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson, was the star of McLain's 2011 best seller The Paris Wife. Here, Hemingway's third wife, writer Martha Gellhorn, takes center stage. The 28-year-old Gellhorn meets the already legendary writer just as she achieves national acclaim, most notably from Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, for her heartbreaking field reporting on the human toll of the Great Depression. Ambitious and independent, Gellhorn travels with Hemingway overseas to cover the Spanish Civil War. Hemingway's second wife, journalist Pauline Pfeiffer, is home with their children as Gellhorn and Hemingway begin their stormy romance against the brutal backdrop of the devastating campaign waged by General Francisco Franco. Though they attempt to ignore their feelings for each other, Hemingway and Gellhorn eventually move together to Cuba, where they live happily and write productively for a time. However, Hemingway's jealousy and neediness soon begin to smother Gellhorn, who throws herself into her career, becoming one of the most important war correspondents of her era. January LaVoy's engaging but carefully paced performance is well suited to this fast-moving, atmospheric work, which does occasionally slide into melodrama. VERDICT Recommend to adventure fiction and travel writing fans as well as historical fiction readers. ["A must-have for all public libraries that should be a book group favorite": LJ 3/15/18 starred review of the Ballantine hc.]-Beth Farrell, Cleveland State Univ. Law Lib. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Ernest Hemingway inspired McLain to write three enthralling historical novels about strong, adventurous women. The Paris Wife (2011) reimagines the story of the first Mrs. Hemingway, Hadley Richardson. Circling the Sun (2015) is based on aviator and author Beryl Markham, whom Hemingway much admired. Here McLain portrays the heroic and gifted war correspondent and writer Martha Gellhorn struggling to remain true to herself and her calling as she becomes Hemingway's third wife, while his fame is resurgent and the world erupts in war. Called Marty, she is courageous, empathic, committed, and creative, both admired and belittled for her beauty. McLain has perfected her dramatic and lyrical approach to biographical fiction, lacing Marty's ardent inner life into electrifying descriptions of place and action. Marty dodges shells and witnesses the deaths of children in the Spanish Civil War, travels rough in war-torn China, aids wounded soldiers as the first journalist and only woman in the horror and chaos of D-Day on Omaha Beach, translates her harrowing experiences into vivid dispatches, and, however briefly, revels in hers and Ernest's Cuban paradise. McLain brings forth the deepest, most ringing elements of both love and ruin, the two poles of Marty and Ernest's tempestuous relationship, a ferocious contest between two brilliant, willful, and intrepid writers. McLain's fast-moving, richly insightful, heart-wrenching, and sumptuously written tale pays exhilarating homage to its truly exceptional and significant inspiration. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: An all-fronts publicity campaign, augmented by a 15-city author tour, will ensure fervent interest in best-selling McLain's timely novel about a historic journalist.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2018 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Having focused on Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson, in The Paris Wife (2011), McLain now turns to his third, writer Martha Gellhorn.As she did with Hadley and with Beryl Markham in Circling the Sun (2015), McLain closely follows previously published biographical material to create her novel. A journalist who landed with the troops at Omaha Beach and the author of books of fiction and nonfiction as well as a play, Gellhorn is considered one of the most important war correspondents of the 20th century. But when she meets Hemingway in late 1936 in a Key West bar at the beginning of this novel, she's in her late 20s and has just published her first book. Ernest is 10 years older and still married to second wife Pauline. Having been burned by an affair with a married man, Martha insists that her deepening friendship with Ernest is purely platonic. The reader is not fooled despite their banal, Hemingway-esque dialogue. Ernest's plan to travel to Spain to cover the civil war there ignites Martha's sense of purpose and adventure. With his encouragement, she lands in Madrid, where she finds her calling as a journalist--the scene in which she witnesses a child's death is genuinely powerful--and the two writers begin an affair. Once Franco wins, Martha joins Ernest for an idyllic life in Cuba that's filled with writing and romance. Pauline remains in Key West, that marriage in tatters. But by the time Martha marries Ernest in 1940, she worries that her husband's oversized personality, magnetism, and talent might crush her own spirit and ambition. They don't, but his selfish childishness, competitiveness, and vindictiveness make their relationship untenable. Martha comes across as one tough cookie, Ernest as a great writer but a small man.This elegant if oddly bloodless narrative is a good introduction for those who know nothing of Gellhorn, but it basically rehashes information and sentiments already available in that writer's own memoir and published letters.
The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn--a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century. <br> <br> 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 the adventure she's been looking for and her chance to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. But she also finds herself unexpectedly--and uncontrollably--falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his way to becoming a legend.<br> <br> In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the turbulent backdrops of Madrid and Cuba, Martha and Ernest's relationship and their professional 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 make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man's wife or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that could force her to break his heart, and hers.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> Advance praise for Love and Ruin <br> <br> "Wonderfully evocative . . . [Paula] 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 review) <br> <br> "McLain has perfected her dramatic and lyrical approach to biographical fiction, lacing Marty's ardent inner life into electrifying descriptions of place and action. . . . McLain's fast-moving, richly insightful, heart-wrenching, and sumptuously written tale pays exhilarating homage to its truly exceptional and significant inspiration." -- Booklist ( starred review) <br> <br> "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 <br> <br> "Romance, infidelity, war--Paula McLain's powerhouse novel has it all." -- Glamour
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