Well to say it’s been a while since the last book review would be putting it lightly! But in the spirit of 2020 and how upside down this whole year has been, unsurprisingly, Vanille and I have not been as motivated to read and review. This latest read has been one we have had on the cards for a few months, yet only finished reading this week. In some ways I’m glad that I did wait, because had I rushed into reading it out of obligation, I don’t think I would have truly appreciated this story as much.
I finished reading ‘The Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ whilst sitting by a fire and sipping Bailey’s, it was the perfect time for me to read, virtually in one sitting, with my undivided attention. I loved reading this book, as once you dive into the world of Evelyn, you will not want to come up for air!
This is a book that introduces us to a true Hollywood icon, an actress named Evelyn Hugo. Though now in her 70’s when we meet her, through her own retelling of her career and life, we see Evelyn throughout her adult years; exploring her choices, her career and of course, just how she came to have seven husbands.
After living a relatively private life, shut off from movies, photoshoots and Hollywood, Evelyn decides she wants to tell her story, but only to one woman… Monique Grant. The author of this book; Taylor Jenkins Reid does a fantastic job of contrasting Monique’s current life and issues alongside us getting to know Evelyn through the years. Jenkins Reid allows us to relate to Monique in how she must feel meeting an actual icon, in her desire to be a distinguished writer and in her personal struggles too. However, where the author really shines, is how magically she captures Evelyn Hugo and the world she invites us all into. The reason I read this book so quickly is simply because I wanted to see every aspect of this life Evelyn lived.
Every description, from her attempts to make it as an actress, to the glamorous Hollywood scenes she would find herself in. I could see it all so vividly in my mind, I could imagine every person Evelyn described, and I just wanted to keep turning the pages to see what would happen next. In the book, every significant part of Evelyn’s life is separated by the name of a husband. Some are short marriages, some long. Throughout we explore what love really means, what marriage actually signifies and have some unexpected events occur. I enjoyed the exploration of the glamorous side of fame and fortune, as well as how often it can actually be nothing more than an illusion. What we also are left to wonder, is just why Evelyn chose Monique to divulge her secrets too, Monique is an unknown writer, yet Evelyn chose her… why?
This is a really enjoyable book to read, despite there being quite a lot of heartbreaking moments along the way. We look at divorce, ambition, loss, friendship, being yourself, daring to dream and true heart ache. I would read this book again in a heartbeat, though I know how it all turns out, I would take another dive into the world of Evelyn Hugo again and again. I think this speaks to the talent of Taylor Jenkins Reid, not only do we hear just how intoxicating Evelyn is to others and Monique, we understand and experience it ourselves.
Evelyn is in complete control and we are all just along for the ride!
Book rating – 9/10
Recommend – Yes
Read again– Of course