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Is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo worth the hype?
By: Taylor Jenkins Reid
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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo begins with Monique. A young journalist in NYC whose life is a mess.
Her husband recently left her and her work life isn’t going as planned. Her world gets turned upside down when legendary actress, Evelyn Hugo, asks her to write a story about her.
Evelyn is hosting a dress auction for charity after being away from the public eye for years. Therefore, she wants Monique to write a cover story about her to promote the auction. Or so she says.
Nothing is as Monique expected
It turns out that what Evelyn really wants is an autobiography. She’s ready to tell the whole truth about who she is and what she’s been through.
Evelyn’s complicated, mysterious, and glamorous life is at the center of the story. And, there’s no doubt that it keeps you on your feet from the very start.
As you might’ve guessed, Monique and Evelyn’s story ends up intertwining in some ways. You’ll have to wait and see how it does.
This book often feels like stepping into a behind-the-scenes featurette of a 70s movie. One that delves into the real Hollywood, not the bullshit version edited to make a pretty picture.
Although the story feels quite raw, you still get that sense of the old Hollywood glamour that we all long for. Whether we admit it or not. And, even if we were born decades after, that world is intriguing to most of us. on the outside looking in.
This book is sold as the juicy life story of a famous actress, but when you dig deeper, it’s much more than that. I went into it thinking it would be a fun, easy read, perfect for getting out of a reading slump (and IT IS). But, the story goes deeper than you’d expect from the synopsis.
It’s the journey of a girl coming of age. A girl who goes from a regular teen with a difficult family life to one of the most famous people in the world. Like, Marilyn Monroe famous.
And everything in between
It’s a story of love. The different kinds of love one can experience. About the complexity of relationships. It’s a journey of perseverance and personal strength. A story of success & how we view it. About the impact of fame.
There are so many themes explored in this book, it would be hard to name them all. Just know, this story is more than meets the eye when you dig deeper. There’s a reason it’s so many people’s favorite book now.
If I had to describe Evelyn in one word, that would be magic. At least from the perspective of the outside world. People that knew her could see how deeply flawed and human she was. This may be surprising but that’s exactly what made her so interesting and easy to connect to as a reader.
In my experience, when you read a character that seems “perfect”, it’s harder to connect to them. Those kinds of characters don’t feel like real people. You don’t get a sense that you can see yourself, or others in them. Because real people are not perfect. No one is.
Evelyn is the complete opposite. You see her flaws, her mistakes, and you understand them. You get why she is the way she is, what motivates her decisions. She feels like a real fleshed-out person.
And even when she made mistakes, you couldn’t help but love her. In fact, her flaws made her more magical. They give a depth and humanity that makes her ten times more interesting and real.
You could feel that there was this magic & charisma to her that was special
She’s also driven and sure of what she wanted from the start. It was refreshing to read about a female main character who was strong, knew it, and wouldn’t try to hide it in any way. She did everything it took to stay in the position of power she had earned for herself.
We need more well-written multidimensional female characters like Evelyn. Characters that reflect that women can be as strong and driven as men.
The writer has a talent for keeping a good balance between a fun easy read and an interesting one. I had a blast while still feeling moved by the story. She made me connect to the characters, their triumphs, and their pain.
I remember my most recurring thought while reading was: ALL I WANT IS FOR EVELYN TO BE HAPPY.
Apart from Evelyn, every important character in this book feels real and multidimensional. Unlike some books in which the secondary characters feel flat and like they don’t give much to the story.
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*BACK WITH THE REVIEW*
I know this book moved me because it left me questioning things about the world around me.
I even find myself thinking of it every once in a while, which is usually a good sign.
To me, this book raises a discussion on why we as a society need to idealize people (celebrities & people we know). And why we shouldn’t do it. Evelyn’s story is proof of why we need to be careful of the media we consume because so much of it could be fabricated.
It hopefully starts conversations about how society sexualizes young women. In some ways so subtle we may not even notice them. About how sexualization so early on in life can affect a woman’s view of life, herself, and love.
Does the book live up to its hype? I would say it does. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.
Not to say it’s the best book ever written. But, it’s worth a chance. If it seems like it could be even a tiny bit up your alley, definitely give it a shot.
Have you read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo? Tell us in the comments what you thought about it!