The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

32620332. sy475 Was it Instagram or Twitter?

I have honestly forgotten how I came to know of the existence of this book. It was either Bookstagram of Book Twitter; but one of them who introduced me to the book first.

The first curiosity it built in my head was to see the face of the woman on the cover! If you have read the book you will totally get the feeling as it explained quite beautifully? in the book.Image result for the seven husbands of evelyn hugo

Ah, yes. I absolutely love all the covers of this book!

If anyone feels like gifting me a hardcover, please go right ahead. πŸ˜‰

The Fear

Ever since I can remember, any time I have picked up a book with a lot of hype around it, I have ended up being disappointed. This book that I was dying to read –Β to get to know Evelyn Hugo – had a lot of hype around it. Almost everyone was talking about it and I did not want to not like it (if that makes any sense).

The Procrastination

For the reason I mentioned above, I put off reading the book for a long time as it sat waiting for me on my Kindle.

A few days ago I came across it as I was browsing through the Kindle to get a break from what I was actually reading. With trepidation in my heart, I chose to readΒ The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

My Rating

For EvelynFor EvelynFor EvelynFor Evelyn

I really wanted some clip art with an emerald green gown but this was the best available and it kind of spoke of Evelyn Hugo to me.

My Review

Where do I begin? It was not what I imagined it to be.

My first impression was that this was a story of a woman who owned her sexuality and did not care a whit as to what the society made of it. In many ways it is not at all what the story is about and in some ways exactly about that.

Confused? But it is very true and you have got to read it to find out exactly what I mean.

The thing that I did not like about it? It was narrated in first person. I am not a fan of the first person narrationΒ  and the book has to be fantabulous (I know that is not exactly a word, but you get what I mean, right?) for me to not take that into a consideration while rating it.

That does not mean that this is not a good book. I gave it a 4 star rating after all!

Let’s move on to what I liked / loved about the book.

It talks about the behind the scenes of the glamour we have been seeing on screens since forever. How the Hollywood worked behind the cameras. The ins and outs of the people bringing us – the audience – respite from our daily routines and how they were judged for what they did while they were appreciated for that very thing.

It talks about how one can be famous and beautiful all they like but all it takes is one piece of gossip to ruin a career (a life!) which is so true even today.

The books shows the reality of the people. Mostly their ugly side and how that too should be embraced to live a full life. It tells us how when one knows what he or she is capable of doing, they reach the highest level of self actualization. That knowing does not come from being someone big or someone famous; it could be as small as loving for your beloved or as big as murdering for your beloved. The point being everyone is capable of the most heinous things ever!

It talks about human rights and what lengths people had to go to hide their sexuality in fear of being castrated from society and be ripped of from their family, their loved ones.

Most of all, the story preaches that there are various types of family out there. You don’t necessarily have to be born in one or marry into one to part of that family.

As the book is in the first person narrative, we only know the perspective of the women narrating it – yes, I used the plural form there. Both of whom have made their own mistakes and have their own choices to make. I am concentrating more on Evelyn because that was what had me in it’s grip. The Monique narrative was not strong enough for me. Though the ending revelation had a huge impact on Monique’s life, I believe this book is all Evelyn. The Monique bit was more distraction for me.

I lost the point there. Here is what I have to say about Evelyn Hugo;

  • The woman portrayed a visage of being able to do anything she felt like but in reality (like all of us out here), she was chained by the norms of the society she lived in.
  • There were times I was rooting for the woman because in the timeline of the book she was making an impact in the lives of people and moving women towards owning themselves in her own way.
  • There were times I could have smacked her over her head for making choices that she did. I was there saying, “No Evelyn, No.” But f course she made those choices which lead the book to its climax.

The final thing I realized? There is no right or wrong in the moment an action is undertaken. The rights and the wrongs start forming later. In the moment you a re thinking about yourself and the people you love who will be impacted and you go right ahead and do something you never would have otherwise.

A hi5 for making me go all teary eyed in places – which is a hard feat to accomplish. For that, Kudos Ms Reid.

Highly recommended if you are into Historical / Realistic Fiction.

To end with, here’s a little Twitter thread that I made for quotes and passages that spoke to me.

4 thoughts on “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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