the seven husbands of evelyn hugo – taylor jenkins reid | review + discussion

32620332The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Standalone
Published June 13th 2017 by Atria Books
Genre: fiction, contemporary, romance, adult, LGBT

links: Goodreads |* Book Depository – hardcover/paperback

rating: ★★★★★

synopsis:

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon 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 is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

❈❈❈❈❈❈❈

I am in awe with this beautiful piece of masterpiece that Taylor Jenkins Reid had created. I have been relishing in the myriad of emotions that I have been experiencing throughout the entirety of the book. Can’t believe it look me this long to pick it up, AND it wasn’t in my tbr in the first place.

What intrigued me the most was how and why did Evelyn Hugo marry seven times. I wanted to get answers, and I got more than that. It wasn’t just about her cunningness or her ruthlessness, it was about her loyalty, acceptance, and drive to get whatever she wanted. It was about sexuality and the stigma surrounding homosexuals that was ever-present in the 1950s. It was about loss and gain, pain and recovery, hate and love.

Evelyn Hugo makes sure you know that she’s not a good person. That made me like her even more because she knew she had to go through great length to get what she desired. She’s cunning, cold-blooded and a bitch but she owns it. It got her to where she is and she wants you to know she doesn’t regret it. At the same time, she’s compassionate, loving and loyal to the people she cares about. Taylor Jenkins Reid managed to show both sides of Evelyn Hugo without her being too one dimensional. 

I don’t often read historical fiction but this was something else. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing is impeccable and immersive. I was so engrossed with Evelyn’s story that I couldn’t put it down. Not only that, this book is filled with representation. From sexuality to race, this multi-layered story got me invested. 

Highly, highly recommend The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Definitely pick it up because it was fantastic and beautiful and devastating.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo enhanced my reading experience to such great heights. Despite reading and loving a few morally gray characters, I can’t help but place Evelyn Hugo at the top of the favourite list. I just wish I had it in physical copy.  

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showed how ruthless someone can be to get what they want. – evelyn having dull sex with that one-night-stand-husband

He came right up into my face. "We are not equals, love. And I'm sorry if I've been so kind that you've forgotten that."

^ goodness this dude is fucking backward.

“Evelyn, who was your great love? You can tell me.” Evelyn looks out the window, breathes in deeply, and then says, “Celia St. James.”

the ability of the author to weave every complex plot lines together is a freaking skill. i don’t know how she surprises me with every turn despite me already predicting certain things.

can i just say, i love evelyn hugo. this fictional character. neither black nor white, neither good nor bad. she was just a human trying to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world. but ultimately what she wanted wasn’t redemption. it never was about that. it was about the truth, and the truth was that she loved only one. and despite marrying seven different husbands, she only loved one. her wife, celia st. james.

Because I had Harry. For the first time in a very long time, I felt like I had family.
You don't know how fast you have been running, how hard you have been working, how truly exhausted you are, until someone stands behind you and says, "It's OK, you can fall down now. I'll catch you."
So I fell down. And Harry caught me.

i loved harry the most out of all the husbands, because of the connection they had. he was kind, he helped evelyn from the start. they loved each other, they had a baby girl together. it wasn’t just platonic friendship, they were best friends loving each other. not necessarily in love, but they still were each other’s soul mates.

“If there are all different types of soul mates,” I told Harry one afternoon, when the two of us were sitting out on the patio with Connor, “then you are one of mine.”

though most of the time celia was mentioned as the “better” version of evelyn. she doesn’t sleep with people, she doesn’t marry multiple times to get what she want, she’s pure and demure unlike evelyn.
but she wasn’t just portrayed as always good.
she had her bad sides too. the numerous times she insulted evelyn whenever she was upset about something was hurtful and senseless.
it showed that not one party was fully in fault for whatever happened in their relationship.

And I started crying when I realised those men were willing to fight for a dream I had never even allowed myself to envision. A world where we could be ourselves, without fear and without shame. Those men were braver and more hopeful than I was. There were simply no other words for it.

i started tearing up when monique found out that evelyn left her dad to die in that car. i started crying when evelyn was saying goodbye. it was heartbreaking to see monique struggle with her morals, whether she should save evelyn or not. whether she should tell her mother about her father loving a man. i started bawling when evelyn talked so fondly of celia, her one true love.

I put my forehead to his and said, “I want you to stay, Harry. We need you. Me and Connor.” I grabbed this hand tighter. “But if you have to go, then go. Go if it hurts. Go if it’s time. Just go knowing you were loved, that I will never forget you, that you will live in everything Connor and I do. Go knowing I love you purely, Harry, that you were an amazing father. Go knowing I told you all my secrets. Because you were my best friend.”
Harry died an hour later.

It was Harry who created me, who powered me, who loved me unconditionally, who gave me a family and a daughter.

i can’t handle this book. i didn’t expect myself to love it and to indulge and to invest so much emotions. it was so much more than i expected, it was something that i didn’t know i needed it until i got it.

Evelyn's mood turns a bit darker. "I'm not a good person, Monique. Make sure, in the book, that that's clear. That I'm not claiming to be good. That I did a lot of things that hurt a lot of people, and I would do them over again if I had to."

i am absolutely in awe with taylor jenkins reid’s writing and i’m so glad whatever inspiration that hit her the day she thought about this concept and this beautiful book, hit her.

Say to them, “Evelyn Hugo just wants to go home. It’s time for her to go to her daughter, and her lover, and her best friend, and her mother.” Tell them Evelyn Hugo says good-bye.

it was easy to recognise the impact evelyn had on monique. she became more assertive and out spoken with what she wants, she started to fight for her own, and she accepted her emotions.

i’m still relishing in the complexity of this book, and how much it moved me.

“Sometimes reality comes crashing down on you. Other times reality simply waits, patiently, for you to run out of the energy it takes to deny it.”

She wanted you to know this because she loved Celia in a way that was in turns breathtaking and heartbreaking.
She wanted you to know this because loving Celia St. James was perhaps her greatest political act. She wanted you to know this because over the course of her life, she became aware of her responsibility to others in the LGBTQ+ community to be visitable, to be seen. 
But more than anything, she wanted you to know this because it was the very core of herself, the most honest and real thing about her.
And at the end of her life, she was finally ready to be real.

So I’m going to show you the real Evelyn. 

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4 thoughts on “the seven husbands of evelyn hugo – taylor jenkins reid | review + discussion”

  1. AHH I LOVE THIS REVIEW SO SO MUCH!! Also, can I just say you picked out some of my favorite quotes?? I completely agree with you that Harry was my favorite. He honestly was a great platonic soulmate that I could appreciate. I didn’t expect myself to love it either, but I’m so glad that we both really enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you tiffany!! 💖 so happy you liked the review!! taylor jenkins reid has a way with words so it’s quote galore for us readers 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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