By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published June 13th 2017 by Atria Books
Rating: Five/ Five Leafs
I like my reviews to be little leaflets of information about the book, a list of things to be prepared for so you can get to reading. I also want reading to be an experience so at the end I’ll list some things I think would pair well with this book.
Synopsis from Goodreads
From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine. 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 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 through the decades—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. Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.
What To Expect
Emphasis on Honesty and Truth
None of the truths of Evelyn’s life are compromised by their complexity. As she recites her story for her memoir, Evelyn makes sure to tell Monique–as her biographer in the story–and consequently the reader all the precise details about her decisions. Complicated truths are allowed to be complicated. There is no need to water down or explain away any different facet of her life.
Strong Female Characters
It’s hard to reveal your secrets and it’s even harder to accept them as an essential part of your development. Evelyn will be the first to admit that she has made bad choices, but she is also the first to admit that she would make them again. She does the most difficult thing by being compassionate with herself, realizing that she did the best she could under the circumstances handed to her in those moments.
The writing is enjoyably straightforward but the style of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is undeniably lavish. None of the films or actors mentioned are real but they all seem like they were part of this old caste of Hollywood that built empires around themselves and their films.
“Never let anyone make you feel ordinary.” –The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkns Reid
Evelyn would probably smoke a cigarette so she didn’t have to eat-as they did in old Hollywood- but milkshakes are the better choice as they meant something so positive in the story.
Billie Holiday for sure. Evelyn loves her.
“Evelyn looks at me with purpose. “Do you understand what I’m telling you? When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things. If you learn one thing from me, it should probably be that.”-The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid