Book: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Adult fiction, historical, romance
My rating: ★★★★★
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 through the decades—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.
I know I’ve said some other books were my favorites of 2018, but y’all… THIS BOOK. I know this will be my #1 book of 2018, or really, in my life. I will forever recommend this book to everyone for the rest of my life. I can’t even put into words how much this book impacted me and evoked so many emotions. I’m not usually drawn to historical fiction, nor am I really drawn to stories about the Hollywood elite. But, oh man, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo blew me away.
In a nut shell, this is a story about a famous Hollywood actress, Evelyn Hugo. A Cuban immigrant, she lost her mother at a very young age and, as her body quickly developed, she knew she had to get away from her abusive father. What comes next is her hunger to survive, to find any means necessary to leave her old life behind. Evelyn slowly breaks into the film industry, beginning in the 1950’s, and continues to have a successful career. And although she’s an acting legend, the public will always remember her as that woman who had seven marriages.
But Evelyn harbored a huge secret all those years. All through her marriages with men, she kept something so precious and loved quiet, and she felt now is the time to tell her story.
Which brings us to the main plot: Evelyn Hugo, now 79 years old, hires novice journalist, Monique Grant, to interview her. Completely shocked and perplexed, Monique takes the job, but she soon finds out there’s a bigger story to unbury, and how much Monique ends up learning from Evelyn.
All throughout this beautiful reading adventure, I found myself relating so much to Monique and admiring Evelyn’s bold and fierce persona. And since this tale starts with Evelyn’s career in the 50’s, you’ll also get a taste of how “real” things were; the misogyny, homophobia, racism, domestic violence, and all the ugliness of that Hollywood era. (Which we sadly still have in our world.)
This book was so beautifully crafted, engaging, and unapologetic. You’ll feel like you’ve become friends with these characters and you’ll want to laugh and cry along with them. And there are so many twists and scandals that I just honestly couldn’t put the book down!
You can bet I’ll be trying to request an ARC of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s upcoming book, Daisy Jones and The Six! (Due out March 2019)