"I pretend that I am simply captivated by Evelyn Hugo. Because, despite everything, I still am." (Pg. 373)
Would I really be a book blogger if I hadn't read a Taylor Jenkins Reid book? After all the hype on bookstagram and booktok, I finally took the plunge into The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and I put it down absolutely worshipping Taylor Jenkins Reid. Even weeks after I finished reading it, this book still has me reeling when I think about it.
Evelyn Hugo is a legendary film star ready to tell the truth about her scandalous and glamorous life. But when she chooses unknown journalist Monique Grant to tell the story of her life, questions are raised. Why her? Why now?
Summoned to Evelyn’s apartment, Monique begins to unravel the life of a star, starting in the 1950s and spilling all the details of Evelyn's seven husbands along the way. But as the story unfolds, Evelyn and Monique’s lives begin to merge in tragic and irrevocable ways.
This book remarkably spans decades in less than 400 pages; it defies all time and logic. With each page, you discover more about Evelyn’s fascinating life and fall in love with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s characters and writing style. It feels like watching a film; it is so vivid, descriptive, and engulfing.
Normally, I hate when years are skipped in books, but this is done perfectly and it feels like the right move to propel the story forwards.
This book fully immerses you in old Hollywood. It feels glittery, shining, dramatic, and glamorous all at once. It reminded me of Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays; the scandal, the gossip, the heartbreak.
“I liked being tempted. I liked knowing I might make the wrong decision.” (Pg. 206)
The relationships between the characters are at the very centre of this book, but the most important relationship is a life-long love story. I won't give away too much, as I went into this book without knowing about it, but there is the most beautiful LGBTQ+ relationship in this book, it made my heart burst with happiness and break with sadness all at once.
“When you dig just the tiniest bit beneath the surface, everyone’s love life is original and interesting and nuanced and defies any easy definition.” (Pg. 380)
Overall, this book was unlike anything I’ve ever read. I loved the flawed characters, the glittering settings, and the juicy drama. If you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to pick it up.
Thanks for reading!