The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

By Taylor Jenkins Reid

2017 • 389 Pages

3.5 Stars

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

All I can say— What a rollercoaster! It took me a while to pick up Seven Husbands because I’m not often a fan of “gossip” novels or high-glam settings, but Seven Husbands, while having both those elements, is so much more than that.

It’s hunger, it’s ambition, it’s heartbreak, it’s human connection and emotional complexity in a way that’s befitting a Hollywood tale. Evelyn is a moving character despite her clear flaws and I feel conflicted liking her as much as I do. The pace of the novel is perfect to me and I appreciate how Reid doesn’t linger too long on a specific husband, but still we get a sufficient taste of the relationship as a whole.

My main gripe, however, is how on-the-nose this novel is with progressive rhetoric. I love that it explores complex themes like sexuality, biracial identity, and sexism but I feel as if it was so packed with these themes that the treatment of them was almost— dare I say— superficial? Most of the novel felt like a sales pitch more than a natural portrayal of the hardships that women, queer people, and people of color face. I also found Monique a boring character, but I’m glad that most of the book focuses on Evelyn.

I would suggest this book if you’re looking for something entertaining and juicy. It’s not challenging to read, but it does bring up great topics of discussion in morality and ethics.

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