Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Book Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book is a complete departure from Reid’s other books (of which I’ve read all). Even still, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo feels as natural to her style as the others.

An engrossing narrative is structured around the seven marriages, paced to reveal another lie that shaped Evelyn’s life —  an addictive thread from beginning to end. Our heroine is imperfect; she’s a liar and a social climber. And as easy as it would be to root against such a character, Reid subtly injects heart and humanism to develop her story, and her life, with grace.

A feminist message during a time period where the word wasn’t even created yet, builds empathy and frustration. Supporting characters add depth without distraction, even the ones with cruel intentions, because they’re painted as true, flawed humans who destroy things.

The “climatic twist” isn’t the point of this book. Not in its literal form, anyway. It serves as the final proof to the reader who Evelyn was and who she grew into, how her guilt and rise to fame ultimately destroyed the only thing she ever loved, and she makes amends the only way she can.

Good books develop characters in ways we as humans naturally develop, too. We change and grow in good ways and bad through every life experience. Great books create this evolution through a story that makes you question your own morals and imperfections, that make you reflect on who you are, who you want to be, and what you’d do to get there.

Evelyn is a star. Reid is star. I’m proud of the talent she’s continued to develop throughout her career — lucky for us.

Rating: 5/5

My mother raised me to be polite, to be demure. I have long operated under the idea that civility is subservience. But it hasn’t gotten me very far, that type of kindness. The world respects people who think they should be running it.
— Evelyn Hugo