The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
It’s extremely rare for me to give ’10/10’ to a book – I’ve only given it to one other (To Kill A Mockingbird), but there was no way I couldn’t for this. There’s something to be said for novels that alter the way in which you look at the world, and this is one of them.
I don’t even know where to begin with this review because there is so much I want to say, and I don’t want to bore you all with an essay!
Reid is an incredibly talented writer – I was immediately invested within the opening pages. The words almost felt lyrical and hypnotic. The twist at the end? I never ever could have guessed it, but it only added to the ingenuity of the novel.
Evelyn is probably one of the most complex characters I’ve read about. I admired her, yet I loathed her; at the end I forgave her. She knew what she wanted, and she went after it. In a world dominated by straight white men, especially in 1950/60s Hollywood, I don’t know how you can do anything but commend her.
It covers so many themes: misogyny, race, sexuality, conforming to societal norms and smashing the patriarchy. This is a book about a queer woman of colour – this is the diversification we need in the literary world!!
For as many themes present, there were as many things that I took from it. I have always been told that I’m ‘too opinionated’, ‘too confident’, ‘too argumentative’… (the list goes on) but is this because I am a woman? Because those are qualities that are revered in men. This novel reminded me of this dichotomy via the juxtaposition between the treatment of Evelyn to that of her husbands. My main takeaway is that life is too short to not live it on your own terms – don’t apologise, claim the space and go achieve your goals.
This is a powerful, emotive and perfect read. This book just really resonated with me. I have definitely missed some key points, but I could go on all day. Long story short, I cannot recommend this book enough, it was worth all of the hype and more.
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