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Am I the only person not that impressed by this book? Maybe it being a candidate for Book of the Year made me have higher than normal expectations... And I acknowledge some of the many high points of this book. It is great for feminism and female empowerment, while portraying some of the difficulties many face(d) in our society.
But there were just a couple things that I really felt let down about. For one, I felt like time passed incredibly fast without a real sense of it doing so in the second half of the book. I get that it kind of represents Evelyn's career winding down. But I would find myself constantly thinking "What? She's in her forties now? Wait, what year is it? It's the 80's already?"
I also am incredibly disappointed in Monique's character. She had absolutely zero depth whatsoever. Just a couple snippets of her finding herself through Evelyn and some paragraphs of her reminiscing on her childhood. But other than that, who is she?? Also, I personally felt like the "twist" at the end with Evelyn's role in Monique's life was lackluster. I did not get the same sense of anger or resentment that the author was trying to portray through Monique.
Aside from those things, I did feel like it was an interesting read. I think I made it through in about a week's time. So it kept my interest. Best book I ever read though? No, absolutely not.
For those that always imagine movie version casting. Who would be your ideal Evelyn Hugo?
I had old Hollywood glamour pictured in my mind, perhaps a Grace Kelly character...
Y'all, I don't even know where to begin!! The drama surrounding Evelyn Hugo's life is enthralling and I couldn't get enough of it!
I'll begin this post by writing that it's my favorite BOTM thus far and I've been a member since last December, so maybe that speaks volumes about my previous book selections...? Anyways, I am a complete fan of this book from cover to cover and I highly recommend it to everyone (I've already recommended it to all my book lover friends).
Evelyn's life story is enticing, though malevolent at times. Taylor Jenkins Reid plunges into the deep, dark world of drama that is of Hollywood A-Listers. It's surreal and kind of scary how a person will do anything to protect their reputations, especially at the expense of others. That's the only part of her story that I found abhorrent. Evelyn would do everything she could to protect herself and her reputation at the expense of the people closest to her like Celia, Harry, Mick, Robert, but most importantly Harry and Celia, and Monique.
Though I enjoyed her character, Evelyn is a selfish bitch, especially because of what she did to Monique's family. Monique grew up believing that her father was a drunk, who got himself killed in an automobile accident, but the truth was that though he loved a man, his family was the most precious gift to him and not leaving them for Harry was quite honorable. Though Evelyn showed her colors throughout the book, it didn't occur to me just how bad of a person she really was until she told Monique the truth about her father. What kind of person attempts to frame a dead man for an accident caused by one of their close, personal friends? What kind of person does that to anyone?? It's criminal.
In closing, I think the saddest part of Evelyn's character is that she would do the same things over again (the lying, cheating etc.) to protect her reputation. I wish the author had written descriptions regarding the characters' facial expressions because I imagined a blank, emotionless look on Evelyn's face when she told Monique, "Everything I have done, I would do it again."
I loved this book and I highly recommend it to all of the book lovers out there!
Thought this book was an easy and captive read. I enjoyed the depth of the main character, her 'life' story, and the twist at the end which had me guessing.. what could it be!?! Also, a look into what being gay might be like for people in the 60's compared to today. Great read, left me wishing her story hadn't ended!
How do we feel about Evelyn as a feminist hero? She's out there doing what she wants, kicking ass, taking names, letting nothing stand in her way. She has a family on her terms, she comes to love on her own terms. I think there was also a lot of recognition of the double standard set between men and women. Thoughts?
I would not have chosen this book and didnt for my BOTM. But thanks to your high ratings and reviews, I added it as an extra in August. It was a fantastic read. Thanks for the recommendation!
Where are the threads for this book?! I was anxious to read everyone's thoughts but I can't seem to find any on the left side of the discussion page. Well, I absolutely enjoyed this book. The story pulled me in and had to know Evelyn's life story. With complicated characters, I was drawn in and fell in love with all of them. By the end, I was crying quietly, hoping my husband didn't catch me and ask me what was wrong with me. Lol.... When a book messes with my emotions, I know it was a good one. My favorite BOTM so far!
A great work of writing! I nearly forgot I was reading. Usually I walk as I read, and today as I was nearing the end of the book, i barely remember my walking route! I was consumed in the book. I absolutely adore when that happens. Also, my favorite character is Harry. Anyone else, or am I alone?
I'm curious to know who you all thought was the most cruel in the Eveyln's relationship with Celia.
I LOVED this book! Read it all the way through on a 3-hour train ride and I was so disappointed that it ended! I was so thankful to finally see Celia and Evelyn together but I thought the ending was a bit...rushed? I knew we had to learn the connection between Monique and Evelyn eventually and I thought it was a good way to link them, but I feel like having Evelyn have breast cancer and then die was a bit of a cop out? I suppose Evelyn's exiting on her terms was very a propos to her character, but it just left me a little unsatisfied after that tremendous story...I might just be getting too emotional over this haha :)
PS-BOTM, I also read White Fur that I picked up after I made my selection (too many good ones this month!) and I thought both these books were so sexy but so thought-provoking! You guys really nailed it this month! Thanks!
I chose "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" for my BOTM because I wanted a trashy, drama-filled, read. I got so much more than what I was expecting with this book! While there was indeed scandal (and lots of it!), there was also a beautiful story about love and about what people are willing to do for love. It was also a story about regret, heartache and loss. The characters were imperfect and a good reminder that no one is fully good or bad. We all fall somewhere in between. I found myself cheering for the characters and hoping for their happiness all throughout this book and then I experienced heartbreak and sadness right along with them. What I think I loved the most about this book is that it never felt like the author was trying too hard. The characters felt real to me and I thought the story was woven together beautifully. This may be my favorite love story ever! On another note - I kept imagining Harry as Stanley Tucci.... anyone else?
Holy cow, I can't stop thinking about this book! The twists and turns along the way have kept this book on my mind DAYS after I've finished reading it. The one subtle twist I think is most interesting is that Evelyn affirms she was drawn to Monique because of her death-with-dignity piece. Does anyone else find that thought-provoking and ironic, given that's exactly what she denied Monique's dad? She did not allow him to die with dignity, instead throwing him under the bus (metaphorically), leaving his family to have lingering judgement about his death in addition to the possibility of criminal charges (had he lived). I don't think this connection was obvious to me immediately after reading, but the more I think about it, the more I find myself asking my friends to read this book so we can investigate and compare notes on the underlying themes and twists!
This was such a well done book. Much more satisfying overall than the two books I read last month with BOTM. When the big reveal from Evelyn for Monique happened near the end I had to look up from the page and stare at the wall for a minute. Devastating. I love Evelyn's rejection of labels, I hate that people have to pigeon-hole label all the time. And I love that motherhood is so cherished by a person that followed so much after passions. A quiet life is so nice. I'm glad Evelyn discovered that in the end.
This is the kind of book that I typically wouldn't pick up from the bookstore. But, boy am I glad I selected it. I loved the characters, mostly Evelyn, and the story line. I liked how the book was broken down by each husband. It made the storyline feel on "topic." The seven husbands were the topic, but it was Harry & Celia who were the thread the tied it all together. This quote made me stop in my tracks. I read it over and over......" 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. " It made me think about the people in my life; who can I say THIS about? I love when books, especially fiction, make you start to evaluate different aspects of your own life. And make changes accordingly ;-)
It's hard to remember that Evelyn Hugo is a fictional character because her epic journey is so detailed and complex. I loved the structure of this book, and all the sordid Hollywood drama that permeates the story. The characters all seemed so realistic, and I was never bored with them. I did think the narrator was a bit too easily and quickly swayed out of her relationship habits, but I'm also glad the author didn't spend too much time on it. I think it was just the right amount for this story.