Captivating, mesmerizing, enchanting… These are only a few words that describe
The heart of the story takes place during the depression in Key West, Florida. The year is 1935 and many people and families are struggling to survive. Mariella Benton and her family are no exception to the struggle. She is a 19 year old half Cuban, half American young woman, growing up in Key West, Florida. Hal Benton, her father has recently died. Hal had earned a living as a fisherman and at the time of his death, there was very little savings for the family. Eva Benton (her mother) has a strained relationship with Mariella. Eva's grief over Hal's death leaves her in a state close to catatonia. Mariella now finds herself the sole supporter and caregiver of her mother and sisters. A visit to the docks looking for work results in a chance meeting with Ernest Hemingway. Mariella's life is forever changed by this meeting with Hemingway with a special offer. Will she get the job? What could she learn from the Hemingway? How can Mariella pursue her dream and take care of her family when all of her wages are needed to maintain their current needs?
However, the fictional story is so expertly interwoven with real events, real places, and real people; I had to keep reminding myself that book is a work of fiction. The places were described so vividly that I could feel the sea breezes as I was reading. The story has such an energy it almost leaps off the pages. Hemingway’s Girl is a story that will stay with me.