Book: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Publication date: 2017
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?
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.
My rating: 3.98 / 5
Dear friends, if I have to describe this book in one word- it should be “Magnificent”.
Adding another one in the canon? “Gorgeous”
Okay, here’s the last one: “Larger-than-life” (yeah, I know it’s a phrase, not “word”)
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a story of an incredible woman, who-
- crawled out of the gutter in NY during the 1950s,
- changed her identity/ancestry,
- bleached her hair and
- marched ahead to rule Hollywood.
Along the way, she-
- married 7 times,
- fell in love only once,
- discovered her true “sexual” orientation and
- delivered some power packed lines regarding women and their ambitions.
In short, wrapped up as a sassy historical fiction spun around a sassy Hollywood sexpot, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo could easily be termed as-
Modern woman’s guide to take the bull by the horns and turn it into a..mmm..Maserati.
There was a time when I was hooked to the column “Scandals of Classic Hollywood” published in the now-defunct “Hairpin” web-portal, by the ever-phenomenal Anne Helen Petersen.
There I read about Rita Hayworth and Ava Gardner. The mountains they moved and fall they faced to claim that claim that coveted spot on Hollywood Walk Of Fame.
This book reminded me so much of these real- life matinee idols who don’t belong to my country, whom may be my father and grand-father swooned over in their youth, and now lost into oblivion.
But not our woman (‘cause I hate to call grown-ass female as “girl” Evelyn Hugo.
To paraphrase T.S. Eliot:
“This is the way “the” Evelyn Hugo ends, not with a whimper but a bang.”
Now, a quick list-down of pros and cons about the book:
- The writing. Lately, this is one of my bone of contention of any contemporary book I’m picking up. The writing has to be fluid and I should breeze through it. Taylor Jenkins Reid passed here with flying colors.
- The character(s)-driven plot. After reading so many plot-driven YA fantasy books, this one comes as a relief. Not only Evelyn but the support-characters are amazingly fleshed-out.
- The LGBTQ angle. In the early September, Indian supreme court decriminalize home-sexuality. Reading this book made this “revolutionary change” all the more relevant to me.
- Evelyn herself. You are bound to feel repulsion, love, anger, exasperation, and respect towards her. And they have nothing to do with her stunning physical beauty.
- A bit long
- A bit repetitive, especially with the “girl boss” talks
- A bit “hopeful-that-a-big studio-picks-it-up”. I mean, writing about Hollywood doesn’t mean you make it obvious that you’re eyeing big screen-adaptation.
Recommended for anyone:
- who wants a Cinderella story sans the Prince Charming.
- Has an affinity for women who are called “sluts” according to the social norm.
- loves easy-peasy prose and a jewel-fisted protagonist.
- devours tad bit of wish-fulfillment through fictions.
Have you read this book? Or planning to add it on your TBR list? Let me know.
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