Review of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“You wonder what it must be like to be a man, to be so confident that the final say is yours.”
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reed is perhaps the most hyped-up book I’ve ever read, besides the obvious Harry Potter series, Hunger Games trilogy, etc.
Firstly, let me give you a non-spoiler summary of the book. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo starts in modern day with Monique Grant, a 35-year-old writer for a popular magazine, receiving the news that she has been requested specifically to interview Evelyn Hugo by the reclusive star herself.
Upon arrival at Evelyn’s home, Monique learns that Evelyn actually wants her to write her biography, which is to be published after Evelyn’s death. The novel goes back and forth from the present, with Monique dealing with her own struggles back at home, to the past, where we learn about famous actress Evelyn’s life from her teenage years forward.
Going into this book, I predicted it would be as non-diverse as possible, because unfortunately, most popular books are. (See two previously mentioned hyped-up titles.) I have never been more wrong. Even though it was set primarily in mid-to-late 20th century Hollywood, also known as perhaps the whitest, most heteronormative time where women could finally have a job, this book was far from that standard. Without going into spoilers, I will say that the title character is a bisexual Cuban-American feminist, a refreshing change in a book.
The only problem I have is that, like most of the books I’ve read recently, the ending seemed slightly rushed. Am I saying this just because I wish it was a thousand pages longer, so I could never leave the world of Evelyn Hugo? Perhaps.
Every topic this book discusses, it discusses well. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a historical romance, but it is also so much more than that.
“I’m bisexual. Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box, Monique. Don’t do that.”