TW: domestic abuse, homophobic abuse, alcoholism, biphobia, cheating, death, homophobia, loss of a loved one, sexual assault, statuatory rape, suicide mention
I knew that there was an immense amount of hype surrounding this before I even started reading and that is always slightly unnerving, as it raises your expectations so high that you start to wonder if the book can ever live up it.
Boy, does The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo smash through the hype.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid:
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon EvelynHugo 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. Monique is not exactly on top ofthe world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. But she 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. Evelyn unspools a tale ofruthless 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.
Evelyn Hugo stole my heart.
This is the epitome of sucking you into a story. I got lost in the world of 50s Hollywood: the glitz, the glamour and the seedy, dark underbelly of it all.
I devoured Evelyn and Monique’s story in one day, but they felt like people I’d known my whole life. They were realistic, flawed and really nuanced feminist icons that I know I will revisit again and again.
However, Evelyn is just the best. She is a bisexual woman of colour that the most raw, compelling and fascinating protagonist I’ve come across. She is manipulative and morally grey woman that absolutely kills it. Reid lets her take control of her flaws and gives her extraordinary dialogue like this:
“Make them pay you as much as they would a white man.”
The writing was just phenomenal. The world Reid envisioned seemed to materialise around me and I was completely swept away into the world. It was this lush, rich, complex writing that was completely character-driven and that’s why I fell in love.
Intoxicating, masterful and utterly unforgettable; this is easily an early stand-out of the year for me.