I am emotionally exhausted. I wanted to give you a quick run-through of how this book made me feel because, as you all know, my emotions usually write my reviews for me. I finished reading The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo thirty five minutes ago, and I think this may be the quickest turnaround I have ever written a review, but I can’t keep my thoughts from spilling out of me. In fact, of those thirty-five minutes, my wife has been consoling me and my tears on and off for around twenty of them.
Two of my friends both told me I had to read this book. The first was Sandy months ago, and I put it on my birthday list. Paperback received and put on my bookshelf for a rainy day. Haley then steps up to the plate and can’t believe I am letting this beautiful story sit and gather dust when it most certainly needs to be devoured, and soon.
So today, after seeing, I reckon, the twentieth post of one of the quotes from the book, I decided I couldn’t put it off any longer, and I grabbed the paperback off the shelf and read the first two chapters. I was immersed in Evelyn’s world and didn’t want to put the book down from that moment on. With multiple tasks getting added to my to-do list by the second, I downloaded the audiobook to listen to (not whistle) while I worked. And for the rest of the day, I went between book and audio completely surrounded by Taylor Jenkins Reids words and finished the last third of the book in the bath, paperback in hand and a cocktail made by my very wonderful wife.
After I finished the last word and closed the book, I knew at that moment that I had found my new favourite WLW book without a doubt in my mind. I laughed when Evelyn and Harry would banter and make fun; I cried when Evelyn came up against some awful hurts; I understood when she went down some inappropriate or shocking paths, and my heart burst or ached every time she was in a room with Celia. Every. Damn. Time.
Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing is unbelievably engaging and captivating, but she absolutely excels in her dialogue. I could list about fifteen quotes from this book without even trying that affected me physically and emotionally.
Today, we can sometimes forget how far our community has come in terms of being out in the world and being our genuine selves. Evelyn lived with a fear I can’t even imagine, and honestly, at one stage of the book, bisexuality wasn’t even an identity. You were either Gay or a lesbian. There was no in-between, so Evelyn really felt that she didn’t belong anywhere instead of knowing she belonged everywhere.
Evelyn and Celia are my favourite characters, without a doubt. I don’t want to delve into that too much because, believe me when I say this book needs to be read without spoilers, It’s the only way, really. Producer Harry and Evelyn’s one and only best friend is possibly my favourite ever secondary character. He was the perfect person to balance Evelyn and be her confidant and protector. And the love she had for Harry was probably the second most significant love of her life.
There are so many elements to the chemistry in this book. Evelyn’s chemistry with lovers, husbands and her best friend, Harry. The chemistry she had with each person was different and meant something different to her life, to her story.
This book is possibly the most beautiful book I have ever read. I felt every one of Evelyn’s emotions happy and heartbreaking. She is the most complex, and exceptional character I have ever read, and I now know why people have said they wish they could read this book for the first time all over again.
If you are looking for a book that will leave you breathless while not knowing which is up but ultimately wholly captivated by it, this is the book for you. Best. Book. Ever. I’ll close on this quote.
“But Celia was the sort of beautiful that felt as if you could hold it in your hands, like if you played your cards right, you might just get to marry a girl like Celia St. James.” - Evelyn Hugo