Once in a while, a book comes along that strikes you in the heart, that makes you fall in love with stories all over again. For me, that book is The Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo. Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid, the novel tells the story of Evelyn Hugo, a movie star from the 50’s, who experiences success and failure in equal measure.
On the surface, Evelyn Hugo appears predictable. A famous woman and her famous husbands. But Reid, a skillful storyteller, manages to breath life into this familiar tale. Evelyn is a complex heroine, who is both likable and loathsome. I often found myself rooting for Evelyn while also decrying some of her more questionable decisions. In many ways, Evelyn reminds me of a kinder, more modern version of Scarlett O’Hara. She’s a woman doing what it takes to survive: lying, cheating, and stealing (no killing in this scenario).
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo took me by surprise. After hundreds of pages, and many twists and turns, I was blindsided by a wave of emotion that I didn’t expect. The true love story in this novel, involving two women at the height of their careers, is thrilling and tender and one of the best romances I’ve read in years.
I highly recommend not just this novel, but all of Reid’s books. Her stories are heartwarming, moving, and above all, well written.