A review by ikepauh
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid


If you are into the lives of the rich and the famous with all their love affairs, their idiosyncrasies, their debaucheries, their tragedies and say, an avid watcher of say E! and gossip channels; The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a book you should check out.

Chronicling the life of megastar Evelyn Hugo in a series of flashbacks as the 80 something year old actress recounts her tale to young journalist Monique as part of what initially seems to a lopsided arrangement in favour of the journalist. Monique gets the scoop, the riches from the book but what does Evelyn Hugo get from all this? The truth. Absolution?

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was splendid! Made even more splendid by the fact that it was mash up of the lives of several IRL actresses. Even Evelyn hiring some random journalist to write down her life story was a move inspired by what Ava Gardner (I don't know her) did.

Good: The characterization of Evelyn Hugo. She has truly lived and loved. Trampled others and been trampled on. No one is wholly bad and wholly good. Like, duh! Most of the relationships in the book are another stellar thing about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. In particular, between Harry and Evelyn. And supposedly what was had between Monique's mom and Monique's dad as well. I want that intimacy, that sense of safety. Though, wool gatherings' abound: can one not also have the passion of celiaxevelyn and the intimacy and trust of harryxevelyn? I think one can but this is a case of where (a) you can't help who you fall in love with? and, (b) there are many forms of love?

Bad: Two iffy things, I could care less about Monique's thing with her ex-husband and her life (really) after reading about 60% of the book. I suppose she was there to be a breather from Evelyn "larger than life" story, or to separate all the great number of things happenings from becoming one big, undiscernible blob of Evelyn. Initially, I welcomed the respite Monique's parts would bring me but later on, I wouldn't have minded just Evelyn. UN-PUT-DOWN-ABLE, as one reviewer had put it. Haha.

I was never fully sold on Celia and Evelyn's love, one love to rule them all. They kept coming back to one another though, through all those years. This is the first story with sapphic romance I've ever read (I think to watch it or to read it in manga are different experiences). Why was I never fully sold? I couldn't tell you, because I've never been in love. Maybe it is because of one their arguments. The big argument leading up to their first separation was amazing to sit through. It was a blazing fire, it was passion, it was heartbreak, it was disappointment, the bashing of two heads who were so different. I think it was Evelyn lamenting on how they would almost get to the point of arguing, she would undress and they'd be all distracted with love-making. I think this was early on in the relationship. I don't know what it is. I must say I cried when Celia died. They could have had more time together, it was bittersweet.