Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the narrative of the legendary Hollywood actress Evelyn Hugo, presented in the format of an autobiography, with the ambitious Vivant journalist, Monique Grant, penning her extraordinary story.
At the start of the book, despite recommendations of many veteran journalists and writers, what made me think is why Monique Grant was chosen by Evelyn Hugo herself to write her story. And oh, geez! The revelation makes a whole sense for everything. Now, I also curated a list just like this favorite of mine – here’s the books like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
This interview-style revelation takes us behind the glamorous façade of Hollywood, unearthing Hugo’s journey as she suppressed her Cuban heritage to conform to the industry’s expectations.
This is on how she defied and harnessed the pervasive sexism and double standards, leveraged her body and high-profile marriages to ascend the ladder of stardom. And of course, finding true friendship and the said “forbidden love” in the industry, and candidly admitted that she would do it all over again given the chance.
Here’s my sincere The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Book Review!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Book Review – My Sincere Take
Let me say this right off the bat – first and foremost
I LOVE THIS BOOK.
And this will stay on top of that. I kinda have a bias on queer genres like The Song of Achilles and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
Evelyn Hugo’s journey begins at a young age, marked by the heartbreaking loss of her mother. Growing up, she’s become a woman with exotic and extraordinary beauty that you will simply fall for her looking at her face. Her body matures rapidly, drawing the attention of those around her.
In her pursuit of escaping the limitations of her hometown and achieving something greater, she makes the bold choice to marry a man.
Evelyn’s unapologetic attitude is what grabs me the most. It’s super empowering and not something you see every day in literature. She doesn’t just act in movies; she’s a pro at handling relationships. Learning from every interaction, she maneuvers through life with finesse, breaking free from societal norms. Her fearlessness in chasing goals is seriously scandalous at some point but if you want something, can you judge her with that?
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s talent in creating characters shines. And Evelyn Hugo is one of her masterpieces. She’s one of the bravest and most captivating protagonists I’ve ever encountered. Another thing that makes her intriguing is her moral complexity.
She’s not the typical virtuous Hollywood character. Her unapologetic manipulation and scheming for stardom are thrilling. Yet, seeing her vulnerable side away from the paparazzi adds depth. The dynamics with secondary characters like Harry and Celia enrich the narrative, showcasing the ups and downs of Evelyn’s friendships and the losses she endures.
The novel’s setting is another standout. Evelyn’s journey from building a Hollywood career to distancing herself from it is unveiled through interviews and newspaper clippings. The press follows her relentlessly, perpetuating her fabricated narrative. The inclusion of clippings adds authenticity, drawing inspiration from Old Hollywood icons like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. The attention to detail in character and setting immerses you in the captivating story.
It’s heartbreaking to think about people like Evelyn and Celia, forced to play roles they never chose. The book explores LGBTQIAP+ history, from Stonewall to Reagan’s era, highlighting ongoing struggles even in 2018.
Despite same-sex marriage legalization, issues persist. This isn’t a platform, but the review emphasizes the need for more progress. The book sparks a passion to contribute to that progress.
Taylor Jenkins Reid skillfully dives into weighty topics, capturing their complexities and demonstrating human nature’s intricacies. The narrative spans from age 13 to 79, unveiling every twist in Evelyn’s life. The unexpected connection between Evelyn and Monique at the end is a masterstroke that leaves readers in awe.
What truly stands out is the author’s ability to make a 1950s movie star relatable. Evelyn’s story unexpectedly resonates with our lives, showcasing the author’s incredible talent for weaving a story that speaks to the universal human experience. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s portrayal of these complexities is nothing short of beautiful, a testament to her storytelling prowess.