The spectacular “The Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo”

 

Book: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid 

Genre: Historical fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Publication date: 2017

book review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Excerpt from Goodreads synopsis:

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.

 

 

book review: the Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo

 

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.”

 

book review: the Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Now, a quick list-down of pros and cons about the book:

Pros:

 

  • 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 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.

 

book review: The Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo

 

Cons:

  • 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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71 thoughts on “The spectacular “The Seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo”

  1. Poonam B says:

    I have heard and read so many good reviews about this that I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Thank you for the wonderful review and the images to go along with it.

  2. jaya1966 says:

    The book sounds promising and your reviewing style is unlike anything I have ever come across before. Shall definitely make it a point to read this book.

  3. Kalpana Manivannan says:

    A very interesting and unique style of review writing Jheelam. Let me ask you this…Are you a science student? 😉 because you know, very clear bullet-pointed answers and all…haha..loved it and to the point too. Looks like an interesting book. Will check it out soon. Thanks for the review. You did a fab job.

    • Jheelam says:

      After reading your comment, I’m on cloud nine Kalpana. 🙂 I was a Science student till 12th board and then changed track.

      That bulleted-presentation is the misdoing of 2-years studying Business management fruitlessly.

      So glad you liked the style. *Happy dancing emoji*.

      • Kalpana Manivannan says:

        Haha…that’s nice to hear Jheelam. Being a science student all my life and then a science teacher, this writing in points is a running joke in our stream…that’s why I was just joking about it. But your review was definitely one of a kind and i enjoyed reading it. Keep up the good work. Hoping to read more of your posts.

      • Jheelam says:

        Thank you Kalpana for your encouraging words. I’m perennially in awe of (and li’l intimidated by) “Science” teachers. 😀 Take my respect.

      • Kalpana Manivannan says:

        With pleasure dear Jheelam. And as a science teacher I am so proud of your presentation. “comes from telling the kids repeatedly for a million times to write answers ‘to the point’ and ‘in points’ but they still write an essay” Haha

    • Jheelam says:

      Your comment made my day. I’m quite influenced by “Pretentious Movie Reviews”, so try to replicate it (feebly) in book reviews as well. Thank you for dropping by. 🙂

  4. Deepti Menon says:

    This looks like an interesting read and your review makes it seem even more so! I think I should pick it up. 🙂 You have styled your review in a truly interesting manner.
    #DeepTiesReads #MyFriendAlexa

  5. Blogsikka.com says:

    I haven’t read this book yet but ur review tempted me to read it not for her life but to know facts about the character if it’s real one

    • Jheelam says:

      The character is the amalgamation of many starlets in the 50s Hollywood who came from nothing and made waves eventually. Hope you like the book as well.

    • Jheelam says:

      Your comment prompted me to check out the book on Goodreads, scrolling down the glowing reviews and clicking the “want to read” button. 😀 Thanks for this.

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