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Hemingway's Girl Paperback – September 4, 2012

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Hemingway's Girl + Call Me Zelda + Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade; Original edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451237889
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451237880
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews


"You'll love this robust, tender story of love, grief, and survival on Key West in the 1930s...Addictive."—Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers

"Robuck's breathtaking alchemy is to put us inside the world of Hemingway and his wife Pauline." —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You

"Richly realized...Readers will delight in the complex relationships and vivid setting."—Publishers Weekly

"I fell in love with Robuck's Hemingway and with the fiery Mariella Bennet, but what I loved most was the novel's message: that we can inspire each other to be better human beings." —Ann Napolitano, author of A Good Hard Look

"Evokes a setting of the greatest fascination...This is assured and richly enjoyable storytelling." —Margaret Leroy, author of The Soldier's Wife

"Brings to vivid life the captivating and volatile world of a literary legend." —Kristina McMorris, author of Letters From Home and Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

"An inspiring story of heartache and renewal. Readers will be sure to enjoy this ode to a literary icon." —Sarah McCoy, bestselling author of The Baker's Daughter

"Colorful, atmospheric, and a pleasure to plunge into." —Joseph Wallace, author of Diamond Ruby

About the Author

Erika Robuck is a contributor to popular fiction blog, Writer Unboxed, and maintains her own blog called Muse. She is a member of The Hemingway Society and The Historical Novel Society. She is also the author of Call Me Zelda.

More About the Author

Erika Robuck self-published her first novel, RECEIVE ME FALLING. NAL/Penguin has published her subsequent novels, HEMINGWAY'S GIRL and CALL ME ZELDA, and will release FALLEN BEAUTY March 4, 2014. Erika is also part of an anthology of ten stories called GRAND CENTRAL (July 2014, Berkley/Penguin) set one month after WWII at Grand Central Terminal in NY.

Erika has an historical fiction book blog, and is a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Hemingway Society, and the Millay Society.

Customer Reviews

A compelling story with excellent character development.
I am so glad we read this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good, wholesome, well written historical fiction.
I have to admit that this book probably would have been a 4 or 5 star read for me had I read it versus listening to it.
N. Blackburn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Julie Lovisa VINE VOICE on August 5, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you have read The Paris Wife: A Novel, you know the story of Ernest and Hadley Hemingway's marriage. Hemingway's Girl continues the story with Hemingway's life in Florida with his second wife, Pauline, told through the eyes of their house girl, Mariella. Mariella was born of a Cuban mother and white father and their family had been ostracized because the mix. After her father dies, Mariella must support her mother and two younger sisters by doing as many odd jobs as she can and by occasionally betting on boxing matches set up by Hemingway. One evening at a match, she is introduced to Hemingway, who is smitten with her, and subsequently hired on as a house girl to help Pauline. She also meets Gavin, a WWI vet who has been working to build a road on one of the islands.

Pauline, who caused the breakup of Hemingway's first marriage, is incredibly insecure and becomes jealous of his attentions to Mariella, who is torn between her desire for him and her blossoming love for Gavin. While she wrestles with this triangle, she must also try to help her sisters, the youngest of whom is prone to fevers, and her mother, who has been depressed since the death of her husband. When she is asked to accompany the Hemingways to the island of Bimini for the summer, she is torn between staying with her family and boyfriend or the temptation of Papa Hemingway.

Over Labor Day, a hurricane brews that puts the hundreds of vets who are working to build the road alongside Gavin in danger. The Labor Day Hurricane is one of the strongest storms to make landfall in American history and caused untold death and destruction.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Granfors TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Wow! Superior historical fiction. Hemingway, Key West, the hurricane and the vet workers. Some readers find Hemingway, both the man and the author, annoying, but I love his work. That he could be a chauvinistic jerk, yes, I see that. His larger-than-life persona, however, makes for very interesting reading.

I liked "The Paris Wife," and now I love "Hemingway's Girl." Erika Robuck approaches Hemingway through an independent and fearless heroine, Mariella Bennet. Mariella is a servant in the Hemingway household in Key West.

Mr. Hemingway, Papa, is known for his delight in women, especially those to whom he is not married. He can't keep his hands off a pretty girl. But Mariella has no intention of becoming another of his cast-off girls. She doesn't always get along with Pauline, his second wife, who can see her husband's desire for Mariella. Papa doesn't feel he needs to hide anything, ever. But Marielle, despite her attraction, is quick to tell Papa that she has big plans for herself, and those plans do not include becoming a mistress to him.

The atmosphere of Key West, mostly undeveloped in the 1930s, the work of the vets on the highway through the mangrove swamps, and the lure of fishing the beautiful waters take the reader on a virtual vacation. The drinking, the fishing, the dancing, the cigarette smoke. . .all of these create images that take us away.

Robuck uses the setting, from the dive bars to the fantastical islands like Bimini, to develop both character and plot.

The dramatic ending compounds a series of events that draw together the character arc of Robuck's Marielle. I noticed a few anachronisms in this historical novel, but for me, the whole outweighed these insignificant intrusions.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Barbara J. Mitchell VINE VOICE on August 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Key West was a place dear to my heart in the 1950s and up to about 1962. When I revisited in the 1970s, it was a different place. That's why I was anxious to read this story set in 1935 Key West when Hemingway was in residence and the overseas highway was under construction.

The main character is Mariella Bennet whose Cuban mother was disowned by her family for marrying an American fisherman. As the story begins, Hal Bennet has died and Mariella's mother is so deep in grief that it is up to her three daughters to look after themselves. They are desperately poor so Mariella works odd jobs on the waterfront to feed her little sisters and her mother.

Then she meets Hemingway and is hired as a maid in the home where he lives with his second wife, Pauline, and their children. The house is described in perfect detail, and the characterization of both Papa and Pauline are excellent. Papa and Mariella are drawn to each other and Pauline feels threatened; as Mariella struggles to avoid crossing any lines.

Meanwhile, she has met a veteran of WW I, one of many who are working on the overseas highway. I knew there had been a terrible hurricane that killed many of those workers, and the scene in this book carried me away. It was the most powerful scene in the book.

I don't want to give away any more of this excellent story, but just know that this is a wonderful read. I highly recommend this book whether you know Key West or not. The characters and settings will draw you in just as they did me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Jorgensen VINE VOICE on October 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In retrospect, I really should have known that this was not my kind of book. Just by reading the description I knew Mariella would not be the kind of protagonist I could get excited about. Against my better judgment, I read the book, hoping some of the larger-than-life Hemingway would reflect his glory on the rest of the story; but it was more like Hemingway was dulled by the other story elements. I'm not really sure what I was expecting when I decided to read this book, but whatever it was, I didn't find it.

My feelings of disappointment are so vague and amorphous that I have a hard time saying anything beyond "I was not entertained," and even if I could go into greater detail it would all depend on some very subjective understandings. So all I'll say is this: Read the blurb and the reviews on the product page, and ask yourself if Mariella sounds like someone whose story you'd like to know better. If the answer is no, don't bother reading any further. That may seem fairly obvious, but it wasn't for me, so I figured I'd throw up a flag for anyone else who might be in the same boat.
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