I had read my first Taylor Jenkins Reid novel earlier this year (you can check out my review for that one here) and immediately fell in love with her narrative style. So, imagine my delight when I stumbled across The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Reid’s latest release, as I was scrolling through Netgalley. Now that I have finished this novel, I must say, I was completely blown away by Reid’s writing ability in this novel. Beautiful, bittersweet and deliciously decadent in her prose, I could not put this one down.
The novel opens with a magazine reporter, Monique Grant, receiving the call of a lifetime. Evelyn Hugo, film legend and classic icon, would like to meet with her. When Monique arrives at Hugo’s Upper East Side apartment, she realizes this will not be an ordinary article. Evelyn Hugo plans on sharing her scandalous life story; the truth behind the rumours, the glamour, the gossip and inside scoop into all seven of her marriages. Exploring her beginning in the 1950s, her ruthless ambition and a forbidden love, Monique listens to Evelyn’s story and is shocked when it becomes clear that it intersects with her own.
Part chick lit, part historical fiction, I was in awe of Reid’s ability to mix these genres to create such a masterful piece of fiction. This story was completely unique to any book I have read lately. Told partially in the present, as Monique deals with Hugo’s request and her own life, and mostly in the past, surrounding Hugo’s rise to fame and life in Hollywood throughout the decades, I found myself completely lost within the pages. There were more times than one where I found myself wanting to google Evelyn Hugo to find out more information; it really felt like I was reading an expose. She truly comes alive through these pages. She was such a brilliant and complex character; strong, cutthroat, and deeply flawed. I felt completely connected to her throughout.
When I finished this one, the first word that came to my mind was WOW. I was expecting a typical bit of women’s fiction. I was not expecting something so dynamic and diverse. I absolutely loved this book. I would highly recommend it, in fact, this is going down as my favourite Book Outside My Genre novel of the year so far. Seriously, read this book.