Wednesday, 26 September 2018

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Summary: Reclusive Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant to write her story, no one is more astounded than Monique herself.

Determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career, Monique listens in fascination. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s - and, of course, the seven husbands along the way - Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. But as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
This book is definitely one of my favourite books of the year so far. It's one of my favourite books in general really, and I could tell that was going to be the case very quickly (like, do you ever get a little bit into a book and just know that it's going to be one of the ones that sticks with you? that was me with this one).

I sat down thinking "I'll just read a chapter, just to see what it's like" (because I'm already juggling way too many Currently Reading books) and ended up reading the entire thing in one sitting because I was just so caught up in the story and entranced by the characters.

Also, it made me cry multiple times (about five times), which not only hasn't happened in quite a while, but it doesn't happen often at all but this one really got under my skin and made me care.

I loved the cast of characters, they were complex and flawed and I adored that. I think the characters were what made the book for me really. 

The book had a really diverse cast too. There were multiple gay characters, lesbian, and bisexual characters. And there was racial diversity too with the main characters being a mixed race woman with a black father and white mother, and a Cuban American woman. I will note though, none of it is own voices and being white I can't really speak for the groups being represented to say whether or not the representation was flawed or not.

Another thing I want to mention that I haven't really seen talked about much in any of the reviews is that there is an element of the Bury Your Gays trope in the book. Personally, the way it was written felt like it was nuanced and handled pretty well -- but it is A Thing in the book that I wanted to acknowledge because I know for some people it will be a deal breaker, and others would just like to go into it prepared rather than being surprised by it.

But yes... I really did love this book, a lot. It's one of the ones that I desperately want to be adapted into a mini-series (I say mini-series, because I feel like that would do more justice to the story than a movie could), partly because I want more of the story in any form I can get it, partly because it was so easy to visualize the story while reading it. 

I'd rate the book 5 out of 5 stars.


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