RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewThe book is fueled by her questing spirit, which asks, Why must a woman decide between being a war correspondent and a wife in her husband’s bed? If we ignore the white whale that is Ernest, this novel questions how to combine romantic desire with a drive to live for yourself; to work. It’s a quandary, both for McLain and her fiery protagonist, and the solution isn’t easy. McLain has employed impressive primary and secondary sources, including Gellhorn’s letters, before letting loose her fictionalized heroine. In a propulsive novel filled with acts of writing a war-torn century, Gellhorn’s life gets the narrative lion’s share, yet Hemingway competes for our attention — which is ironic, because it seems the intention of this book was to center her, not him. But here’s another irony: Gellhorn’s growing dilemma over her husband’s behavior is the novel’s most interesting strand, partly because it throws her need to write into stark relief ... McLain’s descriptive style is occasionally a little pedestrian and generalized for Gellhorn’s unusual life, at times her voice not as searing as the spectacles she witnessed. It’s a sparkier read when they’re together, McLain handling the plot of a literary love affair with pace and skill, careful to give both parties credit despite neither being natural fits for wedded bliss ... in this highly engaging novel, McLain finds an uncomfortable answer to the dichotomy in her title: Leaving behind the ruin of love is better than contorting yourself to fit inside it, and never more so than if you are a woman.