Title – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author – Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publication Date – June 13, 2017
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 jumpstart 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.
I went back and forth for weeks trying to decide if I would read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It sounded intriguing and glamorous, but I had a feeling that it could go one of two very different ways which made me apprehensive at the same time. I finally decided that my love of Reid’s writing style was worth the risk and boy, did it pay off in spades. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was a mesmerizing tale of the cut-throat culture that is Hollywood and surprised me time after time. I can guarantee that whatever you think you’re getting with this novel is nothing like what is delivered, but it’s even better!
“I had learned all too well that pain was sometimes stronger than the need to keep up appearances.”
From the very first moment I was introduced to Evelyn Hugo, I was entranced. As the pages turned and the storyline developed, I fell into her vortex much like all the people described in her life. She was a woman who was not afraid of failure, striving to achieve her goals no matter the cost. Evelyn turned out to be complex and had many layers to her personality and motives; I couldn’t help but keep turning the pages to get more and more. There was something incredibly special about watching this woman rise to the top, fall again, and experience all the ups and downs that Hollywood threw her way. Though there are bits and pieces of romance sprinkled throughout, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is most definitely a story about this irresistible woman.
“Me, I’ve always gone after what I wanted with everything in me. Others fall into happiness.”
I’ll admit that I read this because of how the synopsis sounded, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of my preconceived notions were proven false. The plot was like nothing I have ever come across and I simply couldn’t put it down. Reid’s writing had almost a lyrical quality to it, allowing the words to flow so smoothly and effortlessly. She is quickly becoming an author that leaves me aching to absorb whatever she gives to readers. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was layered and complex, delivering an unforgettable tale that I won’t soon forget. If you’re a reader who adores classic Hollywood, or a book where the heroine shines, I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s a gem that I’m sure people will fall in love with for years to come!
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Taylor Jenkins Reid lives in Los Angeles and is the acclaimed author of One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. Her books have been named a “Best Book of Summer” by People, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, InStyle, Good Housekeeping, USA TODAY, Redbook, Us Weekly, Parade, PopSugar, Buzzfeed, Bustle, Brit+Co, Goodreads, and others.