Friday, August 3, 2018

Gabrielle & Natasha's Experience: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

It's been a while since I've posted a long review and it only seemed fitting to do one with Gabrielle, one of my best friends and the other half of Book Baristas when we first started four years ago! Please enjoy us gush over THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by the incredible Taylor Jenkins Reid. If you haven't read this book just yet, you're in for a treat.


Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways. 

Gabrielle's Thoughts

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 is precisely 12:45AM on a Sunday morning. I have just finished THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO. How do I feel? First, let’s talk about how I look. My eyes are almost swollen shut from crying too much. My cheeks are sun-kissed red. I feel like my heart has left my body, but I also feel a joy that is indescribable.
I know I am late to the party with this book, but I am so glad I showed up.
From the first chapter of this book I was hooked. There were moments I hated Evelyn Hugo. Moments I longed to be her.  Moments I related to her heartbreak and wild decisions.
Do NOT be fooled by the book title. This book is more than a woman and her seven husbands. It is about gain, loss, love, heartbreak, identity, the realities of womanhood and what it means to make your own destiny.
The story line is well written. The characters feel like family & friends. You will laugh, you will cry, you will question what you know about life and find new answers for yourself. Taylor Jenkins Reid has purely outdone herself. This novel brings nothing but depth, truth and beauty about the hardships of life, fame and fortune.
IF you have not read this book, I urge you to clear your schedule because once you pick it up, you will not be able to put it down.
If you have read it, I urge you to pass it on. Share the wealth Reid has shared with us. We are extremely lucky.
Hands down, THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO is my favorite read of 2018. Reid has blessed my life with her brilliance. I am a better woman, friend, and lover because of it.

Natasha's Thoughts

It's no secret that Taylor Jenkins Reid is my favorite writer. It's been almost two years since I read this book and I can still remember crying on a plane (why do I keep reading emotional books in public?) and thinking that somewhere over Tennessee and Arkansas is where my heart broke in two for Evelyn Hugo. I couldn't really put my sentences together enough to formulate a solid review but I did write down seven reasons you should read this book so here they are:
  1. It is deeply humanizing—every emotion on the spectrum will be felt.
  2. If you can read an entire book by TJR and not cry, you deserve an Oscar. 
  3. It is a story with depth, feeling, poignancy, and incredible heartbreak.
  4. Are you looking to cry on a plane, unapologetically? Here’s your excuse to do just that.
  5. This story is the definition of fighting and losing to love time and time again.
  6. The characters are so three-dimensional; every single one of their lives made me feel something. 
  7. The writing is bold and daring, just like Evelyn Hugo.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
  • “What do you want to do? Ruin each other all over again?
  • Nobody deserves anything. It's simply a matter of who's willing to go and take it for themselves.
  • Sometimes reality comes crashing down on you. Other times, reality simply waits, patiently, for you to run out of the energy that it takes to deny it.
  • When you're given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn't give things, you take things.


About the Author

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of One True Loves, Maybe in Another LifeAfter I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. Her novels have been named best books of summer by People, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, InStyle, PopSugar, Buzzfeed, Goodreads, and others. Her most recent novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, is an Indie Next Pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and has been featured in Entertainment Weekly’s Must List and Good Morning America’s Summer Reading Roundup. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their daughter, and their dog.