Sometimes you read about a character so wonderful, so enigmatic, that their charm drips off the pages and into your mind and heart. One such was this book: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. There’s so much I want to say about her here, in written format too, but a year and a half after having read the book for the first time, I find myself at a loss for words. It’s a paradox, really. A side-effect of the aura the book exudes.
And I’m so glad I finally picked this book up last year! In fact, it was my subscribers who made me pick it as part of the Subscriber Pick series on my YouTube channel where I read, vlog, and review a book every month. At that point, this was by far, my favorite Subscriber Pick ever. So a big thank you to them for choosing this book for me and for making me read it. Here’s the link if you’d like to watch it: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Subscriber Pick.
I scripted out my review for the book and I decided to use it for day 2 of Blogtober 2022. Beware: there’s a LOT of gushing in here!
Evelyn Hugo is a former Hollywood star, enigmatic and reclusive. But now, at the age of 79, she is ready to tell her story and everything about her 7 husbands. She specifically picks Monique Grant, a relatively unknown magazine reporter, to write her story, and goes to great lengths to make sure that Monique is put on the case. Monique is stunned, but she recognizes the opportunity and grabs it with both hands, embarking on the journey of a lifetime, learning about Evelyn’s journey from Hell’s Kitchen to Los Angeles, her life in front of the camera and behind it, her decisions, her mind, and her heart.
But Evelyn has warned Monique that certain truths are about to come tumbling out that will make Monique hate her. But how do these lives intersect that will do this? Will Monique’s awe of the aged star diminish or will Evelyn make an impact on Monique, forms the entire story!
What I Liked About It
Buckle up, people, because there’s a lot!
First off, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing! Oh Lord, how I adore it! The way she makes every character human, the way she makes sure that the reader understands the choices that the characters make, no matter how bad they are – despite the characters not being relatable in terms of lifestyle, there’s a strange relatability in a more human manner. It’s beautiful to behold.
She ties up everything wonderfully. Every little detail has a satisfactory conclusion and will give you a kind of unparalleled relaxation that is quite inexplicable. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make you think. You think of the story, the characters, the events, everything long after you’ve finished the book.
And before I say anything else, Evelyn Hugo is such a star, and not just a movie star!
The thing about Evelyn is that you anticipate her arrival, chills spreading down your spine as you become impatient with every page turned. And when she does appear, you look on with an awe that I think only Monique can understand. You feel the power, the pull of her personality, and wish you had known her forever! That is what makes reading this book such an amazing experience – Evelyn Hugo being such an icon, combined with how relatable her life is. Both are on opposite sides of the spectrum but they will comfortably live within you.
Evelyn says things like, “When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things. If you learn one thing from me, it should probably be that,” and forces you to fall in love with her. But it’s not forcing if it happens willingly, is it?
The book is divided into parts where she talks about each of her husbands and after a while, you start counting, for some reason, because you want to know what happens and who is going to come into her life. You’re way too invested in it to have patience. But do be patient, because the brilliance that shines through this book is unparalleled!
This is not just the story of a Hollywood icon. This is also the story of a girl trying to make it in the world where men think they own rights to everything. She takes streets, alleys, and gullies and works her way up to the very top, becoming an absolute star in so many ways. We have a glimpse into her life while learning so much. So many lessons to be gleaned from her, ladies! The most important is that you do what you need to do, but don’t ever lose your essence, the core ‘youness’.
Evelyn Hugo also teaches you that people are not always who you think they are, and sometimes, you should be okay with that. Because that’s how the world works. I mean, it’s a hard pill to swallow for us commoners, but apply this to her world and you have an even bigger sense of admiration for Evelyn.
And paparazzi, good Lord! The number of paparazzi I’ve wanted to smash with my bare hands as I read this book! Media is a cutthroat business, we all know that, even while we watch from the safe confines of our homes. But when you read about how it rips into people without knowing the facts, it makes your blood boil. Imagine the number of false gossip items that we might be reading every day! We don’t even know which is which!
I digress a little here but bear with me: In Boys Will Be Boys, Clementine Ford talks about how women’s sexuality is looked down upon and a woman is slut-shamed if she as much as does one simple thing for her own pleasure, while a man is thumped on the back for the same thing. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo talks about this and addresses it by putting it there as a truth, as the reality that it is. That’s all I will say because if I say anymore, it might morph into a spoiler.
But oh boy. Evelyn is fearless, practical, responsible in so many ways, a star, an icon, and so much more. You will fall in love with her, that much I can assure you!
I also love Harry Cameron. That man is a cinnamon roll that I would like to hug and never let go. ❤
And when that final twist hits you, you just want to curl up into a ball and cry for 10 million years because of how well-written it is. It’s GREAT in so many ways! You didn’t see it coming, but once it comes, you realize that it’s so obvious! How did you not see it? But that’s the mark of a great writer – to take something in plain sight and bring it back in a manner that will blow your mind.
“The things one does for love” – a reference to Game of Thrones – will ring through your mind as you read the book. It’s so brilliant in how it depicts this vast emotion and brilliant in the way that it shows us how love is omnipresent in our lives. It’s lovely to have a love that sustains, it’s encouraging to know that it’s got your back, and it’s comforting to know that you’ve got something to fight for. And when you do realize all these, the things you do for love hardly ever compare.
Ah, Evelyn! What a ray of light!
I’ll say nothing more than that I have been HIGHLY RECOMMENDING this book since I read it last year, I now highly recommend it, and I will HIGHLY RECOMMEND it for a long time to come. Such a great book to tickle your senses in so many ways!
So those were my thoughts on The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. What did you think of them? Have you read this book? Did you like it? Did you not like it? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! 😊
I’ll see you in tomorrow’s Blogtober post.
Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life! 😊