From New York Times bestselling author Meg Waite Clayton comes a riveting novel based on one of the most volatile and intoxicating real-life love affairs of the twentieth century.
Key West, 1936. Headstrong, accomplished journalist Martha Gellhorn is confident with words but less so with men when she meets disheveled literary titan Ernest Hemingway in a dive bar. Their friendship—forged over writing, talk, and family dinners—flourishes into something undeniable in Madrid while they’re covering the Spanish Civil War.
Martha reveres him. The very married Hemingway is taken with Martha—her beauty, her ambition, and her fearless spirit. And as Hemingway tells her, the most powerful love stories are always set against the fury of war. The risks are so much greater. They’re made for each other.
With their romance unfolding as they travel the globe, Martha establishes herself as one of the world’s foremost war correspondents, and Hemingway begins the novel that will win him the Nobel Prize for Literature. Beautiful Exiles is a stirring story of lovers and rivals, of the breathless attraction to power and fame, and of one woman—ahead of her time—claiming her own identity from the wreckage of love.
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In her sixth novel, Beautiful Exiles, Meg Waite Clayton continues to investigate—and inhabit—the lives and fortunes of women who ripped open the envelope of their eras’ social and cultural limitations. This time, Clayton dives into the mind and heart of prolific, outspoken journalist and novelist Martha Gellhorn (1908-98), a war correspondent who also happened to become Ernest Hemingway’s third wife. [Beautiful Exiles] is an immensely ambitious undertaking…[A] love-sex-booze-intrigue-politics-war-literary culture-travel-packed saga…serv[ing] up micro and macro: intimate words and sensuous moments set against the world’s strife.
San Francisco Chronicle
“Clayton uses her meticulous research skills to bring to life the wartime years of Martha Gellhorn…Clayton’s take on their boozy, love/hate relationship is packed with details of the war, including the threat of Nazi submarines in the Gulf of Mexico, a dramatic backdrop for her fictional tale of two vivid personalities and world-altering writers.
— Booklist (starred review)
Clayton delves into the tumultuous relationship between Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, his third wife. The writing is rich with detail; the exotic locales—from Madrid during the Spanish Civil War to D-day on Normandy’s Omaha Beach to the couple’s home in Cuba—are vividly portrayed…
— Library Journal
So well written that at times I forgot I was reading a novel, and instead found myself immersed in the roar of battle, either on the front lines or in their living room…Highly recommended…The plot is well paced, the characters ring true, and the story reveals the difficulties of two strong-willed people at odds with one another.
— Historical Novel Society (Editors’ Choice)
Beautiful Exiles is a stirring story of lovers and rivals, of the breathless attraction to power and fame, and of one woman who is ahead of her time in claiming her own identity from the wreckage of love.
— Wisconsin Bookwatch
A great read—especially with Clayton’s talent for taking years of research and spinning it into something sexy.
— Oprah Magazine
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About Meg Waite Clayton
Meg Waite Clayton is the author of eight novels, including the National Jewish Book Award finalist and international bestseller The Last Train to London, the Langum Award honoree The Race for Paris, the Bellwether Prize finalist The Language of Light, and The Wednesday Sisters, an Entertainment Weekly pick of the 25 Essential Best Friend Novels of all time. Her novels have been published in 23 languages. She has also written more than 100 essays, opinions, and reviews for major newspapers, magazines, and public radio. She mentors in the OpEd Project and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle and the California bar.
About Kirsten Potter
Kirsten Potter has won several awards, including more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. Her work has been recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and by AudioFile magazine, among many others. She graduated with highest honors from Boston University and has performed on stage and in film and television, including roles on Medium, Bones, and Judging Amy.