book review · movies

Seven Husbands, A Single Soul Mate

Spoon clatters to floor

Echoes unlived memories

You-shaped missing piece

 

In The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid accomplishes the extraordinary in delivering the sublime. Her novel tells the true life story of the fictitious actress Evelyn Hugo as told by the aging actress to a young writer. The Hollywood movie industry from the 1950s to the present day is so vivid and so convincing that you feel like you are there with Evelyn, living the life that she has created with each of her seven husbands and with the love of her life.

Jenkins Reid pulls no punches. Powerful movers and shakers along with supporting players are complex, well-drawn, completely believable — even when they make terrible, tragic decisions and especially as they live with the results of triumph, illusions, and broken relationships. Politics, power, business, and culture are reflected through individual lives, true lies, and convincing sleights of hand.

The novel is so well-crafted, the dialogue, the setting, all the elements of story so masterfully achieved that I continue to marvel — and yearn to create work that similarly impacts the reader. You enter the world that she evokes with convincing authority and you don’t want to leave — and you don’t have to, at least not right away, because you are left with your own difficult questions about the choices you have made, how you have made your way in the world, and what you did for love.

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