Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Robuck is an intriguing look at the life of Ernest Hemingway through the eyes of a fictional maidservant. I listened to the audio version of this book, and I couldn’t be happier that I did. The narrator, Tavia Gilbert, does a marvelous job. She uses a variety of voices for the characters, none of which are ridiculous, and her speech and vocal mannerisms are spot on. The story itself is good, but Gilbert makes it come to life.
Set during the Depression Era in Key West, Hemingway’s Girl is written from the point of view of Mariella Bennet. Mariella is the eldest daughter of an American father and a Cuban mother, however, she is forced into the position of head of household when her father dies and her mother falls into a deep depression. She makes money by doing odd jobs and by gambling, until one day, fortune shines on her and she is able to get a position in the Hemingway household as a maidservant. She finds that she has an attraction to Ernest Hemingway, however, she also falls in love with a World War I veteran named Gavin Murray.
This book details Mariella’s struggles with her family, her employers, and her love life. It is heart-wrenching at times, and other parts will have you laughing out loud. Overall, it is a compelling peek into Depression Era Key West and the man known as Ernest Hemingway.