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This book is an "inside" account of the Hemingway mystique. Written with great care and devotion to her subject, Valerie Hemingway (daughter in law) tells of her relationship with Ernest and his family. As a secretary to Hemingway she is asked to accompany him on his trips to Spain, and France, and to join him on his many forays into the arts of bull fighting and deep sea fishing ! An exciting account, with more details of the intimate life time relationships they shared with his sons, and latest wife ,Mary. Eventually Valerie meets his youngest son, Gregory, recently divorced with two children. They are drawn to each other at the funeral of Ernest, and continue their relationship until they marry and have a family of their own. The "hidden" problem that Gregory i s struggling with is revealed in time, and even her love and the devotion of their children is not enough to save him from an ignominious death. Read this book and you will not have a boring chapter !
Publishers Weekly, 2004-07-12 Valerie Hemingway was a 19-year-old Dubliner named Valerie Danby-Smith when she first encountered Ernest Hemingway in Spain in 1959. Having attempted to interview the literary giant for the Irish Times, she found herself sucked into his entourage. Thus began her long association with the doomed Hemingway family (which she joined officially when she married Hemingway's estranged son Gregory years after Hemingway's death). Ernest Hemingway, openly infatuated with the young Valerie, soon persuaded her to become his personal secretary and took her on a nostalgic driving tour of his old haunts in Provence and Paris. His fourth wife, Mary Welsh, a shrewd former newswoman, tolerated this arrangement-by all accounts a platonic one-and she and Valerie even became firm friends. But as Hemingway's health failed, the depressed writer began to confide in Valerie his desire to kill himself. When he succeeded, in 1961, Valerie, employed by Newsweek, flew to Mary's side and helped her pack up the house in Cuba. Valerie spent the following four years sorting through Hemingway's papers at Mary's behest. An account of her stressful marriage to the manic-depressive cross-dressing physician Gregory Hemingway concludes a memoir that is vividly written and rich in atmosphere and anecdote, although it lacks a memorable or compelling portrait of Ernest Hemingway himself. Agent, Simon Green for POM Inc. (On sale Oct. 26) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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