Book Review: Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Title – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publication – June 13th, 2017.

Publisher – Washington Square Press

Genre – Historical & Adult Fiction

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 is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, 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 mesmerizing 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 costs—to face the truth.

How do I write a review for the captivating narrative that is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo?

Somehow I found myself finally focusing and finished this book in under 7 hours, and whenever I paused to do something while I was reading the book my mind was on it, thinking about Evelyn’s life and all I still wanted to know.

I can’t imagine what listening to an audiobook would be like, I bet it would be amazing. Her story is so real, complicated and beautiful, I can’t help but feel the same way Monique does at the end of the book.

Evelyn taught me a lot with her story, reminding me to always go after what I want and make other people uncomfortable in the process because if I don’t, I won’t ever be fully happy because I will be living a half-life, ignoring my truth and become a doormat who is taken for granted.

The length Evelyn goes to protect the people she loved and cared about was so insane and selfless, even if it could also be a kind of selfishness, I couldn’t help but understand and love her for all her actions.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is indeed a very vibrant title, which makes you think what does someone need seven husbands for? This book paints a very vivid and flamboyant picture of Old Hollywood, it passes through some key moments in American history, which was nicely was noted in the book and speaks about the erasure and insensitive way people can be when it comes to bisexuals. I loved how everything came together to match the life of the rich and famous.

Evelyn’s story will make you feel all sort of emotions and there’s a mystery that when revealed will just weigh you down with so much sadness and respect.

Evelyn made a lot of mistakes, regrets some of her actions, but I love how she owns it all and isn’t ashamed, doesn’t let anyone shame or impose their judgement on her. Evelyn is a woman I complete stan and is in awe of.

This book is simply an amazing read, I need more and the ending leaves me very dissatisfied, a little more pages about Monique would have been good enough for me because I wanted to know how she turned out eventually.

I’m still processing all that I have read. I feel like I lost a friend when I read the last page, my heart is aching a bit for Evelyn, but I also understand and I know I will eventually find peace.


Lara Kareem

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15 thoughts on “Book Review: Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  1. I feel like I read this book with you. This review is just so detailed and amazing. There is no way I wouldn’t put the author TJR on my radar! Thank you!


  2. Great review for Evelyn Hugo, Lara! I agree that it’s really difficult to put into words thoughts and feelings about a gem that is this book. Taylor Jenkins Reid is just so good in her craft, and she’s really evolving so well as an author. Have you read Daisy Jones and the Six? It’s another great work by TJR too!

    Liked by 1 person

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