Meet Earnest Hemmingway, aspiring writer and recently unemployed singleton who is plagued by a name that sounds the same as the famous author’s, whose writing, incidentally, our Hem can’t stand. With his sudden abundance of free time he decides to finally crack on with that novel he’s been working on for years. Unfortunately, he has sudden, crippling, writer’s block which he blames on the ghost of Hemingway.
After a very public breakdown, which naturally ends up online and goes viral, he starts a support group for others suffering with famous names. He finds an enthusiastic group who encourage him to go on a trip they call the Ernest Hemingway Exorcism World Tour – visiting the places he lived and worked in the hope of moving past his creative block. Various of his group members, including Professor James Moriarty and Marie Antoinette, offer to accompany him on some sections of the trip and we see them grow closer during their time together.
Alongside this storyline runs that of his father’s determination that he take over the family underwear business. He is the fourth Earnest Hemmingway of the family as the first-born son and it is seen as his duty despite his complete lack of interest, and the presence of his willing and able sister Sarah.
A lighthearted tale that discusses the pressure of family expectation, gender discrimination, and responsibility. Hem comes across as kind and generous with his friends, but many of the characters seem to lack any real depth. A lighthearted book that’s perfect as a holiday read.