WRITING STYLE: 4.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4.5/5
“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’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.”
After having read a couple of short books that were at best okay-ish, I was looking for a book that would truly hold me. I was looking for a five-star entertainer.
So, I did what I usually do in such circumstances, I browsed and browsed until I finally figured that The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is going to be my next read.
In this review, I tell you about my thoughts on the book and my experience of reading it. I also tell you my reasons for recommending this book to all my readers.
What to expect?
Expect a period drama set in the Hollywood of the 1950s, 60s and the 70s. Expect a book that tells us a scandalous yet realistic story of a highly popular Hollywood starlet.
Expect a book that is all about Hollywood glamour and fame. Expect a tale of passion, greed and love.
And finally, expect a book that has something to offer to every kind of reader – be it romance, drama, mystery, glamour or entertainment. You name it, you’ve got it.
Who can read?
The language of the book is rich yet uncomplicated and hence the book can be easily picked up by a beginner level reader.
Let’s talk about the storyline
It’s been decades since starlet Evelyn Hugo has worked in Hollywood but that still doesn’t stop the newspapers and gossip columns from talking about her bold choices and eventful life.
Infamously known for having married seven times, Evelyn is finally ready to bare it all. She is ready to tell her truth as it is.
Monique Grant is a rather unknown magazine reporter whose journey so far in life can be best termed as average. Her career is not where she wants it to be and her recent marriage to husband David is in a rather tricky spot.
So, when Monique is approached by none other than Evelyn Hugo to write her biography, she is shocked but is eventually willing to grab that opportunity for herself.
As they start on the book, Monique realizes that there is definitely more to Evelyn’s story than just the count of her husbands. She also begins to understand that there is something that Evelyn is hiding from her.
How good is the writing style?
There is absolutely no way you can talk about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo without gushing about Reid’s near perfect writing. From the very beginning, the book hooks you in and doesn’t let go of you, until you get to the end of Evelyn’s story.
Reid writes with such command that is difficult to convince the reader in you to not google Evelyn and search everything about her – her face, her body, her iconic gowns, and her movies. Reid’s writing is such that everything becomes that believable and realistic.
The plot is laid out well and starts and ends with quite an aplomb. I especially love the way it effortlessly stitches Evelyn present and her past.
Just when it seems that you are approaching a dull phase, there Reid is – dropping another bomb on you. She manages to have the reader on tenterhooks the entire time.
I also appreciate the layers in the story as they unfold, just when you think that the book is about glamour and sex, it turns out to be a story of survival and greed.
Go further, and it looks like a story about hope, love and happiness. But in the end, it is a complicated tale that sheds some layers and gains some of them to bring to you a master entertainer.
“It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.”
What about the characters?
The characters are undoubtedly the best thing about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Evelyn is a phenomenal diva who will incite all kinds of mixed emotions in you.
You will hate her but you will also admire her, you will pity her but eventually, you will end up loving her all the more. She is a steel of a woman; one who is absolutely unapologetic about who she is. Her character is so nuanced and near-perfect that I reckon writers should take a leaf or two from Reid’s book when penning their own characters.
I also enjoyed the other characters. Evelyn has a series of serious and emotional relationships with multiple characters in the book. How well her stories intertwine with those of others and how her dynamics change with each of them is something that brings out the beauty of Evelyn’s character.
What did I love?
I loved every single thing about the book.
What could have been better?
There is just a small section in the book where the story loses pace for the minutest of time. But it can be easily glanced over.
Let’s talk about the climax
The climax is good. It manages to give a befitting end to the story. Revealing anything further might lead to spoilers which I am strictly trying to avoid.
Is the book entertaining?
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is packed with entertainment. The fast pace and high-flying scandals give the readers enough juice to stay entertained.
That being said, to discount the book as a simple entertainer would be unjust. The layers, the mysteries, and the nuanced characters go a long way to give this book a subtle literary vibe.
In the end
In the end, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a book that both tempts and entertains, engages and inspires, and teaches a thing or two about happiness and life.
It is a book that manages to attain a near-perfect concoction of romance, drama, mystery and glamour. Needless to state, I would strongly recommend this book to all my readers.
The final verdict
Pick it up if
- You are looking for a tantalizing story of fame and glamour.
- You enjoy period dramas.
- You are looking for a book that has garnered amazing reviews across the internet.
- You want to pick an entertaining read.
- You love books that talk about emotions and love.
- You don’t enjoy drama cum romances.
- You don’t like emotional reads.
- Historical dramas are not your cup of teas.
- You are not looking for a lengthy read.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo using the link below.