The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon 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 jump-start 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 – 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.
Written with Reid’s signature talent for “creating complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means – and what it takes – to face the truth.
‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ is the second most recent work by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It was the first of her novels that really took off in terms of hype and popularity particularly on both BookTube and within the bookstagram community.
It was the first book I’d heard of from the author and I can’t say I was instantly intrigued. This was mostly for my lack of desire to read contemporary fiction or historical fiction so I dismissed it as one I wouldn’t enjoy.
I was however proven wrong, my own stubbornness really gets in the way of reading some great books sometimes. Even though ‘Daisy Jones and the Six‘ was the book that really had me eating my words about contemporary fiction, ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ would definitely of had the same effect if I had read it first.
I didn’t feel like I was reading about unrelatable characters in an unrelatable time even with Evelyn Hugo largely following her time in Hollywood from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. The descriptions were so vivid and there was a personal connection with Evelyn that made it feel like it was happening right now.
There are so many topics and movements that are covered throughout ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ including an exploration of sexuality and the laws around gay rights at the time. I really felt for the characters that were being affect by the laws and by extension the real people that lived through that time.
There were so many emotions I experienced through this story. I didn’t really think I was a super emotional reader until this year but apparently I am. I definitely found joy in this story but I also felt genuinely sad at points and may or may not of cried.
I love when stories have the ability to do that, it really shows that as a reader I was connected to these characters.
‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ was an book for the ages. It is one that I believe has the staying power to be in important book for people to read that also gives readers a glimpse into the glamours and the reality of old Hollywood.
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character Development: 8/10
World Building: 8/10
Quality of Writing: 8/10
What did you think if The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo?