The Sisters Hemingway: A Novel

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The Sisters Hemingway by Annie England Noblin, in broad strokes, tells a family tale about the search for familial community, family secrets, and personal choices and challenges. Noblin teaches English in Arkansas. In this, her fourth novel, she sought to write a book with multiple characters and viewpoints. Here one finds three surviving sisters having to live beyond the death of their father Matthew Hemingway, early in their life, and later their mother and youngest daughter in a storm. This mostly takes place in Missouri, at the family farm by Cold River.

The sisters Hadley, Pfeiffer, and Martha, and the deceased Mary, were given the first names of the four wives of Ernest Hemingway. This lead to memorable first meetings. They choose different paths in life but are reunited. The survivors go through big life changes in this one, career-wise and romantically. It is not clear how this relates to Ernest Hemingway, but maybe in its telling without a lot of snark, raciness, and apparent innuendo. There is its share of mortality and connection with the outdoors. The father in the novel is said to have had nothing to do with the very famous writer, but one does not find out the connection for the author until the “Behind the Book” section at the back of the book.

Apparently, Noblin was interested in the life of Ernest Hemingway and read biographies and historical fiction about him. She was more interested in his wives, not being a fan of the Patriarch. His second wife Pauline Hemingway also lived nearby Noblin in Piggott, Arkansas. Ernest’s books will remain historical even if some don’t still consider them classics, and interesting challenges, like this, can and have learned from his gift of understatement.

Reviewed By:

Author Annie England Noblin
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 384 pages
Publisher William Morrow Paperbacks
Publish Date 12-Feb-2019
ISBN 9780062674517
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2019
Category Popular Fiction


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