Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Verdict: Read it!
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5
From Atria: 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.
My Review: I adored THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO! If you love the glamour, romance and relentlessness surrounding the Hollywood film industry this book is for you! Evelyn is the fiction counterpart to sultry Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor. She secured her spot at the top of the film industry during a time when men had the upper hand in Hollywood, and yes, she was ruthless and tough as nails but she had to be as a Cuban woman navigating the business.
Reid has a sharp eye for curating a narrative crossover between historical fiction and memoir. I was 100% emotionally invested in the richly developed plot and characters, which Reid executes brilliantly, and yes, even at Evelyn’s worst I still admired her. The rag magazine blurbs between chapters are a testament to how much we love looking into movie stars’ lives. I liked the alternating timeline – Evelyn reveals her darkest secrets from her past to Monique in the present and while Monique’s role is small her purpose delivers a huge wallop…no spoilers here…read the book! I found Evelyn’s resilience toward sexism, sexuality, racism and abuse exquisite. At the center of the book is a unique love story that will make your heart ache.
I cannot recommend this book enough. Its one of the best I have read and one I hope to read again.