This review is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. One of my favorite ways to rest is by curling up with a good book. Like movies and music, all genres appeal to me, and I give all books a chance to be ‘heard’!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Now that I’ve finished reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I see what all the initial rave was about from other book lovers when the novel was first published in 2017. Taylor Jenkins Reid delivers a riveting novel full of emotions that left me wanting to read the entire book in one sitting (which I would have done if it was possible for me to do so).
Evelyn Hugo is an actress hard to forget. With a voluptuous figure, undeniable beauty, and talent for acting, she turns heads from men and women alike. Even at the age of eighty, her beauty is timeless and still possesses an elegance that dominates the room. She continues to carry herself with the confidence and determination to always get what she wants even if that means it is done at the expense of others.
But all the fame and fortune doesn’t mean she’s living a life walking on cloud nine. It’s quite the opposite in fact. Despite what her talent and beauty may have gotten her over the last several decades, she is now living alone and filled with sadness. She is hoping that an up and coming writer, Monique Grant, can write a book about Evelyn’s life that may be able to redeem her in some way. Redeem her from what exactly? That is what we will discover as her story unfurls.
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Monique is struggling with her own dilemmas – a father who was killed when she was seven, impending divorce from her husband, and ambition to be a great writer but stuck at her current job. And now she has this new problem of writing Evelyn’s biography. She doesn’t know why Evelyn Hugo specifically asked for her to be the one to write her life story but she knows better than to turn it down. It could bring great opportunities for Monique and achieve her life goals as an accomplished writer.
Even though this is a chance most writers would kill for, Monique doesn’t fully understand what she’s agreed to do. As Evelyn confesses everything about her life leaving nothing untold, Monique becomes to realize what kind of person this former Oscar winner truly is. So raw and revealing Evelyn is that Monique is uncertain whether to be in awe or disgusted by this mysterious older lady. By the end of their time together, however, she will equally hate and respect her.
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As Evelyn recounts each of her seven marriages and the choices that led to those marriages, Monique feels compassion, sadness, and distaste at Evelyn’s choices and actions throughout her life. Though it may have gotten her to land numerous memorable movie roles, Oscar nods (and a win), and even a beautiful daughter, the way she went about those choices were scandalous.
And now she’s retired from acting and asking this stranger to write her biography. Why? What are the real reasons for Monique being there? What Evelyn does isn’t for nothing because the one thing Evelyn quickly learned in her life is that motive is always there – sometimes hidden in plain sight and at other times not so much. It’s up to Monique to her what she has to say and figure out the underlying truth of it all.
While I didn’t want the novel to end because I was memorized by the telling of Evelyn Hugo’s life, the ending brought closure on her tumultuous life with such beauty and peace. I do warn you though – the last quarter of the book is emotional. Just as Monique has constant contradicting emotions, so will you as the reader listening to Evelyn’s tale. Have a box of tissues ready.
This is the second novel I’ve read by Reid (with the first being Daisy Jones & The Six) and it’s the second I’ve loved. The author truly has a gift for writing. I cannot wait to read her other work.
Guide to Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Books
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Book Ratings and Reviews
Each book I review is based on my opinion. This does not mean you will agree with the review or love/like/dislike the book, too. There’s a quote that says, “No two persons ever read the same book” by Edmund Wilson, and it’s quite true!
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