I have been very naughty lately. I have been concurrently reading several books, which meant that it took a very long time for me to finish even one of them. It's taken a while, but I have finally made it! First cab off the rank is Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood. It was one of those books where I got sucked right in to the story with impressive immediacy. Even reading in stops and starts on the train didn't alter the fact that about five words in and I was back there - Paris, Cuba, or wherever Hemingway and his current wife happened to be.
Wood draws four very distinct characters for each successive Mrs H, yet manages to make each of them sympathetic portrayals of a woman in love with a loveable cad. Although a work of fiction, she has used a lot of research to built up the story. I don't know a lot about Hemingway so I am not sure what a purist would think but I thought the book was riveting. Not really knowing the ending helped to make it a great read as well. I also rather liked the way some of the marriages made more sense in subsequent chapters; because there was a bit of distance to the depiction.
If this book were a drink it would be a strong, rum-based cocktail with a fancy lime garnish. It was seductive, cool and had a real bite to it.