Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Year of Publication: 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Number of Pages: 385
Summary: From Goodreads: “Reclusive Hollywood 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 to write her story, no one is more astounded than Monique herself.
Determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career, Monique listens in fascination. 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. 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, likeable characters” (Real Simple), this is a mesmerizing journey through the splendour of Old Hollywood into the sobering realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means – and what it costs – to face the truth.”
Review: I added this book to my collection last year when my friend and I picked it as our book of the month for our mini book club. Unfortunately, both of us were struggling with a massive reading slump at the time, and I didn’t start the book, and she only read the first chapter. Fortunately, we both got out of our reading slumps and decided to give this book another shot, and I am so glad that we did because The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an amazing book and I’m positive that it will end up being one of my top reads of 2019.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo follows a reporter named Monique who is personally selected by Evelyn Hugo, a Hollywood icon, to write her biography. Monique has no idea why Evelyn picked her to write her life story, but once she finally agrees to take on the project, she learns about the choices and decisions that Evelyn made that led her to become one of the most well-known names in Hollywood.
One of the things that I liked about this book is that it felt realistic. While I was reading it, it felt like I was in Evelyn’s apartment, listening to her tell the stories of her seven husbands and the true love of her life. Evelyn felt like a real person to me, and I had to remind myself that this book is a work of fiction and that Evelyn Hugo isn’t a real person.
Another thing that I liked about this book is the characters. I liked how strong and determined Evelyn was and how she was not ashamed of what she did to achieve her goals. I liked Monique, and I loved watching her grow and learn how to take control of her own life as she listened to Evelyn tell her stories. I liked how supportive Harry was and how he and Evelyn worked together to become Hollywood legends. I wasn’t a huge fan of Celia, but that’s because I found her to be a bit too hypocritical and selfish.
The other thing that I loved about this book is how many important and relevant topics it deals with. For example, it deals with domestic abuse, the right to die, sexuality, and racism. I could easily write paragraphs about how this book relates to these topics, but I don’t want to risk spoiling anything. One thing that I will say is that this book features a bisexual character and the author’s portrayal of bisexuality is one of the best portrayals I’ve ever read.
Overall, this book was amazing. I loved reading about Old Hollywood and everything that Evelyn did to become a Hollywood icon. I loved all the twists and turns, and I loved how the secret the Evelyn reveals near the end left me genuinely shocked. I loved the diversity and all the important issues this book touches upon.
I’m looking forward to reading more books by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and I know that I’m going to be recommending this book to everyone for the foreseeable future.
Favourite Quote: “When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things.”
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars!