Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway’s Girl

Look out, everybody, we’ve got a great new author in our sights. Erika Robuck has hit one out of the ballpark with HEMINGWAY’S GIRL.

This smart new novel about Hemingway and Key West just crackles with the island breezes and historical lore.

It’s 1935, Key West, Florida. Mariella Bennet and her family are struggling to hang on since the death of her father.  Mariella’s dream of following in her father’s footsteps and becoming a charter boat captain is all but washed up. There is  not enough money to pay the bills let alone start a business.

Ernest Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline, live in Key West with their three children. The majestic  house with the wrap-around porch and the forest green trim isn’t famous yet, but Hemingway is.  And famous people hire housekeepers. So, when the Hemingway’s needed a housekeeper, Mariella got the job.

Anyone who knows anything about Ernest Hemingway knows he is an inveterate womanizer.  Mariella, at the young age of nineteen, is a real beauty. I think Pauline had misgivings about hiring her, but Hem insisted. And since Mariella was so competent with both the house and the children, it was soon a done deal.

Eva, Mariella’s mother, has been in a deep depression since her husband died. She has two small girls to raise. For now, Mariella is doing it all. At times, I just wanted to smack this woman and say, “What’s the matter with you? Snap out of it!”

With descriptions of the island that are seemingly plucked from the tree-lined streets and alleys, Robuck drops us straight into this world full of both real and imagined characters. Mariella’s character is gritty with just the right amount of purity, and quite a bit of pluck.  This Hemingway  Robuck creates is the  man we have come to know. She has nailed it.

While Mariella is working at Hemingway’s house and taking care of her own sisters and her mother, someone new enters the picture. She meets Gavin Murray one night at a boxing match. Hemingway is famous for his boxing. And Mariella enjoys a good match. In fact, she has been known to gamble from time to time.  Gavin Murray is special. And when Hemingway sees the spark that ignites between the couple, he is jealous.

Those of you familiar with this time period, can’t help but remember the  Labor Day Hurricane of  1935. I have read about it over the years and never tire of it. The Overseas Rail Road was being built when the most devastating storm of our time arrived on the scene one day in late summer when the water temps in the Gulf of Mexico were at their warmest and the air was just right for the perfect storm. Erika Robuck has reproduced this perfect storm and its devastation to the nth degree. Her attention to detail leaves no stones unturned. She literally will have you turning pages so darn fast, your head will spin, as she tells the tale of the storm.  As it becomes harrowing, be prepared to be wowed.

You won’t be disappointed with the ending either. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, bingo, another twist. Bravo, Erika. And thanks so much for my galley.

Robuck is working on another novel about a famous person from history. CALL ME ZELDA will be available next year. I am so excited! You will be too.

2 thoughts on “Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s