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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo


I was nervous starting this book: I’d heard a lot about it, somewhat mixed reviews. It’s about an aging movie star who asks a woman to write her life story for her, as she tells it to her. I’m not into Hollywood stories, don’t watch a lot of movies, and certainly haven’t watched a lot of older movies, so I wasn’t sure how I’d connect with this book. But wow, it is compelling. It just pulls you in, and the end is stunning. I knew it would be sad - the whole point is that everyone who was important to her, is dead, after all - but the tragedy of it all hit me harder than I expected.

Evelyn is meant to be a conflicting character: she makes decisions that are usually ego-driven, often calculatedly so. However, I was constantly drawn to her pluck and persistence, and I could honestly say that I’m not sure if I would’ve done things directly than she did. The ambivalence of good vs. bad in her character is what makes the entire story so intriguing.

I wished that the book was a bit longer, so as to explore Monique’s character further. There is a bit about her and her marriage and her parents, but I wanted to see more connection between her processing of Evelyn’s story and her own life story throughout. I wanted to see what lessons she learned further and how this changed her outlook and future actions. This is not a criticism per se, but the end leaves the next steps more open-ended than I prefer.

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