I have a very vivid memory from reading Daisy Jones and the Six. I was meeting a friend downtown for a shopping excursion and arrived 10 minutes early. Instead of waiting there, I ran to the nearest park bench so I could sit down and flip just a few more pages. Of course, I wound up being the late one.
I was addicted to DJATS. Every time I had a chance, I opened that book and became absorbed in it. I couldn’t get enough. And yes, I definitely went through withdrawal symptoms when it was over — crying over the beauty of the ending and the fact that I had reached the ending. I would love to be able to re-experience that.
Unfortunately, I failed to realize that the Taylor Jenkins Reid who wrote DJATS was the same person who wrote The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. When I realized that error, I automatically corrected it, adding the book to my shopping cart and hitting submit.
I eagerly anticipated its arrival and then panicked:
Wait. What if it’s nowhere as good as Daisy Jones? What will I do? I don’t want to be let down.
I finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in less than 24 hours. Turns out I’m not addicted to the books, I’m just addicted to Taylor Jenkins Reid.
Evelyn Hugo is a Hollywood icon from the 50s to 80s, just as famous for her movies as for her seven husbands. She’s removed herself from the public eye, never sharing the details of her scandalous and amorous life. Until now.
Evelyn has picked a relatively unknown journalist, Monique Grant, to write her biography. No one knows why, not even Monique.
As Evelyn shares her story, it inches closer and closer to the present day. Throughout the seven husbands, we learn the truth about Evelyn’s love affairs, the sacrifices she made for fame, and the reason she gave it all up.
That’s when Monique learns the devastating reason Evelyn chose her in the first place.
Since finishing the book a few days ago, I’ve tried to explain the plot to anyone who will listen to entice them to read the book. I don’t feel like I do it justice, ever.
This book is like an onion; flipping each page is like peeling back another layer.
It’s glamorous, glorious, salacious, stunning… much like Evelyn herself.
Something I love about Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing is that it is so multi-dimensional. It’s not a plot driven narrative and it’s not a character driven story. It’s both. It has unbelievable and yet totally realistic plots and complex characters in spades.
A lot of Evelyn’s decisions will rub you the wrong way, and yet it was never in doubt that I, as the reader, would love her. Here is a woman who went for it in the 50s, grabbing Hollywood by the balls. Literally.
She didn’t take no for an answer, she perhaps unethically or problematically fought for what she wanted, she without a doubt controlled her own narrative. Even disagreeing with some of her choices (like 3/7 of the marriages), you have to admire her for doing all that.
Knowing that Evelyn and Monique’s lives somehow intersect is the perfect mystery to hook you throughout the novel. I found myself reading Evelyn’s recollections and forgetting that Monique existed, I was that invested. But as soon as we were back in the present day, I thought “can I guess where Monique fits in yet?” constantly. Jenkins Reid disclosed the perfect amount of information to keep me that intrigued.
I have a feeling I’ll be returning to this book again and again, and you already know I’m ordering the rest of Jenkins Reid’s works.
5 out of 5 stars.