(Review) For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Publisher and Publication Date: Simon and Schuster/Scribner. 2020. Originally published in 1940.
Genre: Fiction. Classic literature. War literature. American literature.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 576.
Source: Self-purchase.
Audience: Readers of classic literature, Hemingway stories, and war literature.
Rating: Excellent.

This book is the Hemingway Library Edition. It includes a foreword by Patrick Hemingway and an introduction by Sean Hemingway.

Amazon link

Further links to explore:
Nobel Prize
American Literature
Book Analysis-this page helps the reader understand Hemingway’s writing style

Ernest Hemingway 1899-1961

This is “1” of the most fun reviews I’ve written.
I love how the book surprised me in a good way. I didn’t know I’d like it. I certainly didn’t expect to love it.
I am a lover of Charles Dickens’ stories. As you know, Dickens’ stories are long-winded with lengthy descriptions and sentences. Hemingway is not. He is at the opposite spectrum of the literary style of Dickens. And, still, I fell in love with, For Whom The Bell Tolls.

This edition includes other supplementary writings. It has 3 short stories Hemingway wrote. It has early drafts of For Whom The Bell Tolls. It includes a speech Hemingway gave titled, Fascism Is A Lie. And, Hemingway’s personal account of the Spanish Civil War.

For Whom The Bell Tolls is the story of an American volunteer serving in an anti-fascist guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. The war was defined as freedom versus fascism, 1936-1939.
Robert Jordan is the American who is fighting as a volunteer. He is the main character the story centers on.
He is with a small group of other fighters which include 2 women.
The setting is in the Mountains of Spain.
The structure of the story is dialogue between the men, the goal to blow up a bridge, the enemy who is the antagonist, a love interest, internal and external conflicts, and a climax.

My Thoughts:
For Whom The Bell Tolls is a story with a great background story. For example, Ernest Hemingway himself observed first hand the Spanish Civil War when he was a war correspondent. He found the name for the book from the poem written by John Donne. He consulted his son, Patrick, about a particular detail needed in the story. Patrick was 11 at the time this book was written.

Reasons why I love this story!
1. The sentences are crisp and to the point.
2. I was shown the careful patience, watching, judging, decision making, and the planning needed to implement an attack for a battle.
3. I love the dialogue between the men. They tease one another. They make cutting remarks. They provoke one another, especially if it is an enemy.
4. Major themes in the story: courage, power of love, bravery, revenge, honesty, perseverance, death and dying, passion, and honor.
5. The conflicts are external and internal. An external conflict is the war and the opposing enemy. An internal conflict is when a battle goes wrong and the person blames self.
6. I love the point in the story where Robert Jordan reflects on a memory he has about his childhood.
7. The material of the story is arranged chronological. With the exception of a childhood memory of Robert Jordan, it is the present situation where the story holds.
8. The pace of the story is steady. There is a sense of control-controlling the reader to hold and concentrate on each scene.
9. Sometimes an author is too manipulative with the pacing of characters and events. It is apparent. I believe Hemingway is understated. He is the person telling the story, but he tells the story in a way that allows events and people to unfold at the right time.
10. My favorite reason! The love story between Robert Jordan and Maria. If you are a man and have not figured a particular thing out about women, Robert Jordan holds a lesson. Females love tenderness. I don’t care how old a female is they respond to tenderness. I believe this is one of the reasons why females fall prey to sweet-talk. Robert Jordan is patient, tender, gentle, and loving to Maria who has been abused in her past. I love the language used to describe his thoughts and passion for Maria. They are real, precise, honest, and clear feelings. Their love is not one of fiery passion, but it is one defining a bond, a unity, a sweet intimacy, and a place of tranquility between them. When they are together the war is at a far distance. I’ve read many romance stories. Most of them it’s all heat and passion. Robert Jordan and Maria slow down in their love making. They take their time despite the war.

An honorable mention in the story is on page 61. It is night. The men are discussing killing a person they believe is an enemy. At that moment an owl passes overhead. The owl flew in silence. The owl is hunting. “‘Look at him,’ gypsy said in the dark. ‘Thus should men move.'” I love the use of the imagery of the owl with the problem in the group of men.

(Review) Salt The Snow by Carrie Callaghan

Salt the Snow_PosterSalt the Snow

Publisher and Publication Date: Amberjack Publishing. February 4, 2020.
Genre: Historical fiction.
Pages: 304.
Source: I received a complimentary paperback copy, but was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of historical fiction. Readers who’d enjoy a female expatriate living in the former Soviet Union during the 1930s.
Rating: Good-the last part of the book was the decider.

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
The landing page for the book tour: https://www.hfvirtualbooktours.com/saltthesnowblogtour/

Amazon link

03_Carrie Callaghan
Author Information:
Carrie Callaghan is a writer living in Maryland with her spouse, two young children, and two ridiculous cats. Her short fiction has appeared in Weave Magazine, The MacGuffin, Silk Road, Floodwall, and elsewhere. Carrie is also an editor and contributor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She has a Master’s of Arts in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For more information, please visit Carrie Callaghan’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

“The vivid prose of Salt the Snow sets the reader in the middle of socioeconomic upheavals and political unrest with the best possible tour guide, wisecracking American journalist Milly Bennett. Callaghan excels at bringing little-known real-life women out of the darkness of historical obscurity and into the light of recognition. From the first scene, the reader is plunged into a world of suspense and intrigue, led by an unforgettable protagonist. Milly is not so much a character as a fully realized, complex human being: her brilliance and self-sufficiency are admirable, and her loneliness and feelings of unworthiness are heartbreaking. A fascinating novel!” —Clarissa Harwood, author of Impossible Saints and Bear No Malice
“A vivid, well-researched story of a complex and ahead-of-her-time woman, an American journalist, who finds herself—head and heart—while living and working in an equally complex Russia.” —Jenni L. Walsh, author of Becoming Bonnie
Salt the Snow is a vivid journey through the kaleidoscope of 1930s Europe with an irrepressible and all too human guide in Milly Bennett. Don’t miss this book and its unforgettable heroine!” —Linnea Hartsuyker, author of The Half-Drowned King and The Golden Wolf
“Honest, vivid, and bold in the face of historical truths, Salt the Snow is a captivating story of a woman whose vulnerability and hopeful idealism resonate even today.” —Jennifer Klepper, bestselling author of Unbroken Threads

This blog does not host the giveaway. I am sharing the direct link for the giveaway.
Direct link for the giveaway that ends @ 11:59 tonight-Feb 5.
Guidelines for the giveaway:
You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

American journalist Milly Bennett has covered murders in San Francisco, fires in Hawaii, and a civil war in China, but 1930s Moscow presents her greatest challenge yet. When her young Russian husband is suddenly arrested by the secret police, Milly tries to get him released. But his arrest reveals both painful secrets about her marriage and hard truths about the Soviet state she has been working to serve. Disillusioned and pulled toward the front lines of a captivating new conflict, Milly must find a way to do the right thing for her husband, her conscience, and her heart. Salt the Snow is a vivid and impeccably researched tale of a woman ahead of her time, searching for her true calling in life and love.

My Thoughts:
Milly Bennett is 30ish. She’s an American. She’s a world-traveler. She’s a journalist. She is independent, feisty, and assertive. Her weakness is allowing men to dominate her life. Surprising, as sharp as she is in some ways, Milly is not wise about men. She settles.
She doesn’t consider herself to be attractive. She wears men’s trousers in an era when no matter the country or weather, females wear dresses. She has curves, but she’s not happy about the way her face looks. She is a female easily persuaded by men’s flattery and tenderness. I believe that flattery and attention makes her feel better about herself. Milly is a character that I have only a little bit of empathy for. She should know better by her 30s to not get mixed up quickly with men who come on really fast (they want a permanent relationship.) It’s a strong possibility they are using her. Awe, if we all had hindsight!
Milly is a character that I don’t care either way what she chooses, because she has shown to choose the same pattern. It makes me want to lay the book down and walk away, because I see the same thing happening on and on.
The book moves back and forth in time. At least the times are in the 1930s.
Salt The Snow showed me what life was like in the former Soviet Union during the 1930s. It was a scary time for the people who lived there. It was an era of police action against anything they were intolerant to. And, just like that you were beat-up, murdered, or sent far away like Siberia. I enjoyed learning about this aspect, because I have a better understanding.
This is a sad story. I wanted her to be a heroine. She had opportunities to write great journalist stories while in Russia; instead, she chose to put her energy in a troubled relationship.
A final point about this book, the last part of it is the best.
I enjoyed reading the author’s notes about the real person behind Milly. Her name was Mildred “Milly” Jacqueline Bremler.