The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Book Review - The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid stole my heart. I adored the last book I read by Taylor, Maybe In Another Life, but this one was really special. It is centered around Evelyn Hugo, a movie star who quickly became a Hollywood A-lister in the 1950s with a successful career spanning three decades, culminating in an Oscar win in the 80s. As you might suspect from the title, the story chronicles Evelyn's seven husbands. Her marriages were less successful and shorter lived than her acting career.
We also meet Monique, a journalist for Vivant magazine. Monique is at the beginning of her career at Vivant when Evelyn, now in her 80s, specifically requests that Monique write her tell-all cover story. Why Monique? We don't find out until the very end of the book, and the truth simultaneously surprised me and broke my heart. But it also taught me a lot about love and its many forms.
This book is so beautifully written and has a lot of life lessons embedded in it. Themes such as sexuality, family structure, parenting, abortion, and politics are all addressed in this book. Go. Read it. And love it. I know I'll be thinking about this book long after I've set it down.
Evelyn Hugo's signature color was emerald green. I took it upon myself to find a few dresses she would have liked to wear at a movie premier or awards show. The first was designed by Charles James in 1952-53. I think the body-conscious design of this sheath would appeal to Evelyn's desire to show off her bust. The second was designed by Bonnie Cashin in 1950. Prior to starting her own company, Bonnie Cashin designed for Twentieth Century-Fox, a competing film studio to Sunset Studios where Evelyn got her first film contract. The third dress was designed by Charles James in 1954, perhaps Charles James would have been Evelyn's preferred designer given his use of emerald green. This gown is described as an "engineering and sculptural masterpiece" on The Met Museum's website. I think Evelyn would accept nothing less than a masterpiece to wear at an award show.
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