“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” is the book that pretty much had me from page 10 and until the end. Although I did not have as much time during the week, it just pulled me in and did not let me go. I like books that give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside once you have finished reading them and this one was exactly like that.
The story is centered around Evelyn Hugo who is a Hollywood star from the 60s-80s and who won an Oscar of a few for her performances. She has been married seven-time and had one daughter and as she reaches old age, she decided that she would like someone to write her biography from her point of view. She gets in contact with a young journalist Monique Grant whom she trusts with her story because of both professional and personal reasons. What follows next is the account of her life as she walks us through her marriages and life experiences.
Taylor Jenkins Reid definitely created a very attractive character in Evelyn Hugo. I might have learned a thing or two from her. One thing that I particularly liked about her is how unashamed she is of herself and how she embraces who she is and is honest about it with herself. She might not have been honest about it with the world, but she was always with herself. She thinks that you should take what you want instead of waiting for it to be given and I think there are a lot of us who could use some of that nudge to start shaping our lives into what we want them to be. So that’s, I guess, my favorite part of this character. Besides also the fact that her life was fascinating and entertaining and made it hard to put down a book.
“When you are given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things. If you learn one thing from me, it should probably be that.Evelyn Hugo
The book also touches on the topic of life, love, and death. Love comes in many different shapes and so do the partnerships we create with others even though traditionally they might seem accepted in society. It just highlights once again that what we create for ourselves should be what works for us and not others. Also, the book somehow made me less afraid of death – maybe because it is speaks about it as a matter of fact, or maybe when you see a life well lived, it somehow makes it easier to bear the thought of dying.
Here are some of my favourite quotes:
“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is “You are safe with me” – that is intimacy”.
“I knew it was imperative that I hide, and yet I did not believe that I should have to. But accepting that something is true isn’t the same as thinking that it is just”.
“Nobody deserves anything,” Evelyn says. “It’s simply a matter of who’s willing to go and take it for themselves. And you, Monique, are a person who has proven to be willing to go out there and take what you want. So be honest about that. No one is a victim or a victor. Everyone is somewhere in between. People who go around casting themselves as one or the other are not only kidding themselves, but they are also painfully unoriginal.”
The reason why I picked this book is that it was described as a book that would help you get back into reading. It is much more than that!
When you dig just the tiniest bit beneath the surface, everyone’s love life is original and interesting and nuanced and defies an easy definition.