Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid


You know what? I think my desire to put an ice pick to my heart via novels may actually be over, thanks to Taylor Jenkins Reid. Her work in crafting the story of Evelyn Hugo put the final and deadly puncture wound to my heart and I think I'm good now. I'm officially FULL of all the emotions. ALL.OF.THE.EMOTIONS.

I thought I was prepared for this novel.
I wasn't.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo lulled me into a safe and pleasurable reading zone and I was enjoying the characters and the concept and then at some point I was blinking back tears and it felt like my heart had expanded up into my throat and into my entire torso and I got to the end of the book and I just...gahhhhh...I felt so many things.

Evelyn Hugo was a complex character with such a self awareness, at the end of the novel, that I had a ton of admiration and sorrow for all that she lived with/through/for. Her story made me once again realize how fortunate I am to have what I have and live in the time that I do; it also made me remember how important it is to live MY life on my terms, and the terms of my family. Ultimately, it made me think and feel and I think that may be the highest praise I have to offer (other than my dad would read this and love it and then berate me for letting him read another novel that makes him FEEL the things he'd feel).

I realize that I haven't really told you the how or why behind my emotional reaction to this novel, but I'll let the synopsis and your own reading determine that. Just take my word for it--this novel was on the best of 2017 lists for a reason--you should read it.



In this entrancing novel “that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all” (Kirkus Reviews), a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie 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 for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique 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. 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. 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.

“Heartbreaking, yet beautiful” (Jamie Blynn, Us Weekly), The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is “Tinseltown drama at its finest” (Redbook): a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it costs—to face the truth.

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