Love And Ruin by Paula McClain

Paula McClain

Love and Ruin

Just when I thought I’d read every single novel about Hemingway, well, here comes a new one. And it’s written by a favorite author, Paula McClain.  She said, quite defiantly, after publishing THE PARIS WIFE that she was done with Hemingway. But sometimes stuff happens…. She actually dreamed she was on Hemingway’s boat Pilar with him when she saw a blonde woman onboard. This woman was Martha Gellhorn. And McClain just had to write this story.

Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway’s third wife, is the  only one who actually left him. He had met his match, no doubt of that. Hemingway was a different man when he met Martha. He was more mature and  at the top of his career. She was younger and he dubbed her “daughter.” They met in Key West at his favorite bar. She was with her mother and brother. He took them home to meet Pauline, the second wife…

This book is not all about Ernest Hemingway. It’s really about Martha Gellhorn

Hemingway's 3rd wife

Martha Gellhorn

and her life as a journalist. Hemingway just happens to come along. To say Martha was a strong woman is a gross understatement. She was a powerhouse. But she was always struggling to keep up. Hemingway was so famous by the time they met. And she was only beginning.

There were parts of this book that I loved. I have always been intrigued with Hemingway’s time in Cuba. I didn’t realize that Martha actually found the house and carved it into a home for them.  This section of the story is quite compelling for me. I learned something I didn’t already know. In fact, Martha’s story is engrossing. Her travels were far-reaching.  She is sent to war- torn places such as Spain, Finland, and even China. All by the magazine she was writing for. Most times as the only woman journalist anywhere around. Fascinating.

Hemingway and Gellhorn were a force.


Hemingway & Gelhorn

They couldn’t be apart and yet she yearned for adventure even as she told him she could not leave him.  They were fire and ice. They were both so competitive. Once they were married their relationship began to quickly unravel. He wanted her to have a child, a little girl. And she began fading slowly away. She knew from experience that if she had a child she would no longer be able to work and travel. She would be home caring for the child while Ernest flew away into the sunset.  He loved her independence and strength as much as he hated it.

Hemingway began to slip away, mentally.  There are scenes at the end of this book that show his mental acuity going downhill. How he would prepare for being alone and shutting Martha out of his life because he simply could not cope with her being away from him. The tip of the iceberg toward the end of his sanity.

Love and Ruin

Paula McClain

What did I think of this book? This intimate portrayal begged to be told.  I love Paula McLain’s writing. I think she’s got a sure winner on her hands with LOVE AND RUIN. That is exactly what Gellhorn and Hemingway became.

LOVE AND RUIN by Paula McClain will be published on May 1. You are going to want to RUN to your nearest bookstore to get your copy. We will have copies in store on May 1 at Copperfish Books. They will be discounted 20% as most of our brand new hardcovers are. Come on in and see us. We love to talk books!

My review copy was provided by Random House. It’s a winner!


Sunburn by Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman


SUNBURN by Laura Lippman has a very summery cover. Very! Makes me feel the sizzle and heat of the burn.  But it’s the novel’s premise that drew me in and convinced me to read it. I can’t ignore a young mother walking away and leaving her family on the beach. Actually leaving as in I’m out of here leaving!

This fine psychological suspense novel takes place in my old stomping grounds. Most of the story lives in a very small out of- the -way town in Delaware. Lippman has named the town Belleville. I have checked and can’t find a town with that name. And I sure don’t remember that name. However, I grew up in Seaford, Delaware and I know small back-water towns. Towns on the way to the Eastern Shore beaches. Laura Lippman has nailed the atmosphere of these towns like nobody’s business. You have to have lived there to “get” it. And I have.

Adam and Polly meet at a local tavern in the small town of Belleville, Delaware. Polly is set on heading west. Adam says he’s also passing through. 

Yet he stays and he stays-drawn to this mysterious redhead whose quiet stillness both unnerves and excites him.  Over the course of a punishing summer, Polly and Adam abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair.  Still, each holds something back from the other-dangerous, even lethal, secrets. 

” In an unpromising town near the Maryland shore two souls begin a cat and mouse game that will lead to betrayal and murder. One is playing a long game. But which one?”

I don’t read a lot of mysteries. This is more of a psychological thriller. But it is also a murder mystery. Lippman has raised the bar for other mystery writers with SUNBURN.  I truly didn’t know what to expect. And what I got was more not knowing. The characters are complex. The story is compelling. People have already been murdered when the novel begins.   But why, and how?

I know those little no-nothing towns. One diner, a gas station, and a bar. Maybe two old coots at that bar.  Nobody stops unless they have to. So why would a young woman want to live there and start over???

For those of you who want a great mystery for the beach, toss this  novel into your beach bag. You won’t be sorry.

Laura Lippman


Laura Lippman

has written a slew of books.  She’s been nominated for more than fifty awards for crime fiction and won more than twenty.  Now a perennial New York times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

My review copy was sent compliments of William Morrow Books, an imprint or Harper Collins. I loved the book!

I Have A Winner!

Karen White

The Night The LIght’s Went Out

Congratulations go out to Diane! Diane, you are my winner this morning. I will contact you by email to get your mailing address.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to enter my giveaway. A special thanks to Berkley for providing the winner’s book.

Cheers everyone, and happy reading!

Giveaway! The Night The Lights Went Out by Karen White

Karen White

The Night The LIght’s Went Out

Guess what’s available now in trade paperback! Yes, THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT, by Karen White. Just in time for beach and vacation reading.

In THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT, recently divorced Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to Sweet Apple, Georgia. But her new beginning isn’t helped by an anonymous local blog that reveals for the whole town the scandalous affair that caused her marriage to fail. And Merilee’s new landlord, the proud, irascible, Atlanta born-and-bred 93-year-old Sugar Prescott, certainly isn’t helping. 

Karen White is the author of over twenty books including TWO New York Time hardcover bestsellers in 2017 alone.


Karen White

Coming in June, Karen’s next novel will arrive on the scene. Filled with dark family secrets, it’s time line is 1950’s. I’m looking forward to reading DREAMS OF FALLING.

I have one copy of THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT for giveaway. Please leave a comment below to enter. Only U.S. addresses, please. And, no P.O. boxes, as per usual. I shall choose one winner on Monday, April 16th. Good luck to you all.

My giveaway is sponsored by Berkley, a division of Penguin Random House. Thanks, guys! #berkley

Maurice’s Summer Reading List

Meg W.

The Female Persuasion

If this one isn’t on your TR list you will need to immediately put it at the top! THE FEMALE PERSUASION is already getting a lot of well-deserved attention. It’s bound to become a classic.


Sarah Winman

Tin Man

by Sarah Winman is out next month. Little novel with big heart.

Anna Quindlen

Alternate Side

THE ALTERNATE SIDE by Anna Quindlin. NYC, marriage, new beginnings.

Luis Alberto Urrea

The House of Broken Angels

THE HOUSE OF BROKEN ANGELS by Luis Alberto Urrea.  Heartfelt and witty. Urrea knows his stuff.


Paula McClain

Love and Ruin

by Paula McClain. Hemingway’s third wife, Key West, Cuba. Yes, it’s well-worth the read. Martha Gelhorn rocks.

Jenna Blum

The Lost Family

THE LOST FAMILY by Jenna Blum will be out in June. Yes, she’s the author of THOSE WHO SAVE US.


Tayari Jones

An American Marriage

by Tayari Jones is a quick read that everyone is talking about.

Judy Blundell

High Season

THE HIGH SEASON by Judy Blundell is available next month. Grab a copy and run with it!

NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA by Chanel Cleeton should be on everyone’s list. The cover itself is enough to draw you in. But it’s the wonderful story that will keep you reading. And it’s in paper.

Chanel Cleeton

Next Year In Havana

THE OVERSTORY by Richard Powers is a tome of a novel. Only for those very literary readers. Reimagining our place in the living world. Powerful!

Richard Powers

The Overstory

This is but a smattering of the books I’m suggesting for summer. Some, as you can see, are literary. Some are less. All are well-written.

The Critic’s Choice Summer Reading List will be available soon. Maybe later this week. I will keep you posted. We are working feverishly to get it to you in a timely manner as always.

Lemonade Winner!

Amy Willoughby-Berle

The Lemonade Year

This cover makes me smile every time I see it. I have my winner! Donna Hughes, you’ve won a copy of THE LEMONADE YEAR by Amy Willoughby-Burle. I’ll be contacting you shortly to get your mailing address. Congrats!

Thank you all for taking the time to enter this giveaway. You’ve made it quite a success. And thanks go out to Shadow Mountain Publishing for supplying the giveaway copy. Thanks guys.