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In 1937, courageous and independent Martha Gellhorn travels to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War and finds herself drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in devastating conflict. She also finds herself unexpectedly - and uncontrollably - falling in love with Ernest Hemingway, a man already on his way to being a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the tumultuous backdrops of Madrid, Finland, China, and especially Cuba, where Martha and Hemingway made their home, their relationship and professional careers ignite.
But when Hemingway publishes the biggest literary success of his career, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the suffocating demands of a domestic lifestyle or risk losing her husband by forging her way as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that will force her to break his heart and her own.
Based on a true story.
Martha Gellhorn was one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century. For Whom the Bell Tolls was dedicated to Martha and inspired by the time they were together in Spain. It was Hemingway's most successful book to date; it sold half a million copies within months, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and triumphantly reestablished his literary reputation.
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Only one disappointment in this magnificent book - the emotion and sentimentality applied to the fictional dialog between Gellhorn and others. As a work of fiction it is excellent, but to endow this non-fictional character with imagined conversations was difficult to endure. However, it is a fictional account and as such it was riveting, enlightening and very well written.
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