In the dazzling summer of 1926, Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley travel from their home in Paris to a villa in the south of France. They swim, play bridge and drink gin. But wherever they go they are accompanied by the glamorous and irrepressible Fife. Fife is Hadley’s best friend. She is also Ernest’s lover.
Hadley is the first Mrs. Hemingway, but neither she nor Fife will be the last. Over the ensuing decades, Ernest’s literary career will blaze a trail, but his marriages will be ignited by passion and deceit. Four extraordinary women will learn what it means to love the most famous writer of his generation, and each will be forced to ask herself how far she will go to remain his wife…
Mrs. Hemingway won a 2014 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. It was also shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. A Harper’s Bazaar book of 2014 and one of the Daily Telegraph’s best novels of 2014. A Richard and Judy Bookclub Spring 2015 choice.
Listen to Naomi as a guest expert talk with Michael Palin and Matthew Parris on Ernest Hemingway: Radio 4’s Great Lives
“This is a wonderful book: carefully written, richly imagined and emotionally wise . . . Mrs. Hemingway feels truer than most of the biographies, and more real than many novels. Wood’s method is an effective way of getting to grips with the central enigma: Hemingway himself, a man tortured by masculinity. But it is also a sensitive and moving evocation of those women he depended on, who his life often overshadowed” Daily Telegraph
“Magnetic… assembles a satisfying puzzle of personalities, bringing each relationship’s beginning, end and overlap into vivid focus.” Leisl Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review
“The elegant prose and finely-wrought narrative of this humane novel exceed the sum of its parts.” The Independent
“Naomi Wood’s novel about Ernest Hemingway and his four women brings their story convincingly, movingly to life… She has made Hemingway’s tragedy seem moving all over again – and that’s no mean feat.” The Observer
“…whilst this is a fictionalised account based on known facts, it is so beautifully written, so true and so vivid that it eclipses anything strictly biographical.” The Daily Mail
“When it comes to love triangles, Naomi Wood’s edgy second novel skilfully sketches the skewed geometry of Ernest Hemingway’s fraught relationships… Mrs Hemingway is a memorably sharp portrait of the contemporary social and literary milieu…Showing what happens when words fail us, Mrs Hemingway is also a testament to the power of words and the language that remains, even after love has long gone.” Sunday Express
“Exquisitely written, the Mrs. Hemingways finally have their say in this beautiful novel.” Stylist Magazine
“Wood manipulates four sets of past-and-present with ease, telling the story from the perspective of each wife in turn… her portrayal of Hemingway is enticing.” The Guardian
“A beautiful read and an amazing insight into the life of the man…” Red
“The second novel from Naomi Wood, Mrs. Hemingway delves into the lives of Ernest Hemingway’s four wives, Wood’s meticulous research informing four beautifully written and empathetic novellas…” Daily Express
“… the superb Mrs. Hemingway gives us Ernest Hemingway as seen through the eyes of his four wives… Sublime.” The Bookseller
“Luminous, intoxicating…A passionate novel based on real lives, full of betrayals and moments of heartbreaking intimacy as Wood gives four remarkable women star billing.” Marie Claire
“Mrs. Hemingway is so beautifully written, and evocative, that I could not put it down until the last page.” Jojo Moyes, author of Me Before You
“Obsessively readable, fascinating, and heartbreaking, Mrs. Hemingway captures a time and people in a style the legend himself would no doubt admire.” Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl and Call Me Zelda
“Wood has given us a fascinating, astutely observed, gorgeously written account of the Hemingway wives and their charismatic, enigmatic, troubled and troublesome husband. This is a gem of a book.” Therese Anne Fowler, author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
See Naomi talk about Mrs. Hemingway on France24.