“(We are, both of us, probably, addicted to anguish. Perhaps this is our bonding attribute: Our penchant for anguish and longing and the solitude that is required of both.)”Introduction to Women, Elizabeth Ellen
I’m hesitant to write this review. It’s not because I’m one of those readers who accused Caldwell of sexual tourism (though even I, with eyes as wide open as I can try to get them to be, am programmed to mistrust narratives like these that depict “straight” women exploring homosexuality only to return to heterosexuality by the end of the narrative).
After the brutality of Tell It to the Bees, I scrambled to find a softer, lighter film. A brief review “for parents” informed me of all the same content warnings I offered you above, and although domestic assault and animal slaughter are in no way “soft” or “light,” I was intrigued by the idea of two desolate, overworked, and underappreciated women finding solace in each other. So I took the plunge.
This book is deceptive–with a title like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, one does not expect Evelyn Hugo’s true love to be a woman. In fact I didn’t pick it up for years because I assumed the titular character to be straight. And what a lovely treat this novel was once I discovered this not to be the case (well, only for a little while).