Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Release Date - June 13, 2017
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster 
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 391 pages
My Rating - 5/5

Twelve Books/Twelve Friends Selection

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life.

When she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Taylor Jenkins Reid has basically written a juicy celebrity tell all about a celebrity readers will wish existed. This lush story of a complex woman is told through the framing device of her seven husbands and offers a rather engrossing love story.

Evelyn is a mixture of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. Sexy, glamorous, and driven. The term unlikable is probably one that is thrown around to describe her but that is only because she is unapologetically herself and that self was imperfect. She would be the first to admit that she has made mistakes and people are quick to judge female characters for those mistakes. She may be willing to do anything to keep her career and to protect those she loves but I loved her flaws and all. Her determination is something to respect even if you do not agree with her actions.

Each of Evelyn's husbands add something to the story and reach Evelyn something. You will love some of them and despise others. My favourite is Harry Cameron. His character basically screamed Montgomery Clift to me even though he wasn't an actor. Something about the deep friendship (among other things) he shares with Evelyn made me connect the actor with this character. He is a stand out among the characters we meet and adds heart to the story in so many ways.

Taylor Jenkins Reid seems to effortlessly create these incredibly vivid and realistic worlds where you almost expect them to live outside their pages. You want to immediately search out Evelyn's movies. You want to dig further into her life. It's breathtaking that she is able to do this and make it look so easy. Part of this is the duality of what was presented in the tabloids and media versus what was the reality. This pulls back the curtain on Hollywood glitz to show that things are not always what we see them as.

The love story is not as straightforward as you would expect. Evelyn's seven husbands are a means to an end to tell her life story. The real love story is messy, complex, and at times not pretty. It feels epic though and like the stuff of Hollywood legend.  

Monique is an interesting pairing with Evelyn. They contrast and play off each other nicely. The mystery of why Evelyn chose Monique to write her life's story is one that compels both the story and reader forward. It doesn't take the entire focus but it is a thread the reader wants to pull at and unravel. You want to discover what is at the other end and I wasn't disappointed when I did.

If you eagerly devour movies from the golden age of Hollywood this is a must read. It captures both the magic of the time period and the hidden side of Hollywood. Taylor Jenkins Reid has quickly become one of my favourite authors and I cannot believe I took so long to pick this one up. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments. Thank you for stopping by my blog and thank you even more for leaving me a comment.

I have decided to make this an awards free blog. I appreciate the gesture, and love that you thought of my blog, however I simply can't pass them along as required.

You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...