Book Review

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Book Review

Hello everyone! I just finished reading this gem last night. It might be my favorite book of the year yet. Enjoy πŸ™‚

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reig

Blurb: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways. (Goodreads)

Format: Audiobook

Rating: 5 HUGE STARS

I read this as an audiobook and it was the best decision ever. The format of the book, with the Newspaper excerpts, the multiple points of views and the retrospection were perfect for that format and the cast’s performance was incredible; they really brought the words to life. This is only made possible by Taylor Jenkins Reid’s superb narration skills. She killed it. Words cannot convey to you how whole this book made me feel.

This book was everything I needed without ever knowing it. It’s like founding your favorite drink in the desert: you simply needed water and you’re given your favourite drink; it’s more than you hoped and asked for.

I love how we got to see the making of Evelyn Hugo. She came to terms with who she was. She has no regrets, she doesn’t hide the ugly things she did, quite the contrary, she embraces them and owns them because they make her who she is. She’s unapologetic, she’s fierce, she’s passionate, power-driven, determined and oh so inspiring. She’s not inspiring because of the things she achieved, but for everything she stands for. She had a crappy beginning in life and she had to use her body as leverage, as a currency. She showed the ugly side of Hollywood but it wasn’t with any bitterness because it’s what got her a career. I love that the character of Evelyn Hugo was inspired by famous Hollywood icons such as Greta Garbo (Hidden bisexuality ), or the Platinum blonde hair from Marilyn Monroe, the many marriages and abusive relationships inspired by Elizabeth Taylor’s or even Americanizing one’s ethnic background to succeed such as Rita Hayworth.

β€œIt’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.”

Now on the LGBTG content. I did not expect it to be treated so thoroughly and wonderfully. It embraces the many hues and nuances of being bisexual. Even Evelyn struggled to come to terms with it and what it implied. However, she knew that she was deeply in love with a woman, whom she called “the love of her life” and that she was also capable of loving men romantically. But she also explored other ways in which one can love others: through great and trusting friendships, through motherhood or simply partnerships and it was beautiful to read about.

β€œI’m bisexual. Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box. Don’t do that.” 

This was a really sad book that pulled at my heartstrings (especially when you get towards the end and hear the reason why Evelyn chose Monique Grant for her biography) but I would willingly go through it all to rediscover this gem of book.

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