Hemingway in Love was a great disappointment after reading the engaging tale of Hadley and Ernest in The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Although the two books overlap in details and accounts, Hemingway in Love seems reflective of an author striving to monetize his experience with Hemingway. It reflects a parasitic nature with the author benefiting and the deceased individuals unable to speak for themselves. I can’t imagine that any remaining family would be pleased to read this memoir.
The story focused on his everlasting love for Hadley and regret for the destruction of their relationship as Ernest struggled with his love for two women. He loved the sturdy, dependable Hadley and also the calculating, rich Pauline. As Hemingway was reported in this book, it seems that his love for Hadley was enduring and long-term while his feelings for Pauline were more related to her riches and the experiences she could provide. The focus of the book is eclipsed by the self-serving tone of the writing.
I found it very unfortunate that Hotchner, who was supposed to be Hemingway’s friend violated his relationship by describing a period of sexual difficulty for Hemingway. I can’t imagine that any “friend” would not realize that this was a sensitive issue which, even in death, Hemingway would not appreciate this in print. It seems to me that the author used this information to “sensationalize” his book, to try and convince the readers he had inside information and to gather attention. This seems selfish and not the action of a friend.
The book does have a number of old photographs which are interesting. It describes how Hemingway led a troubled life despite his literary talent. I appreciate an honest accounting of the positive and negative times in his life but feel that Hotcher has taken this too far and abused his privilege as a friend and confidant by printing some sensitive details in an attempt to share something new.