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

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: June 13, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 4.26

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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.

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Monique, a magazine reporter, gets the opportunity to interview one of Hollwood’s iconic leading ladies, Evelyn Hugo. Monique is a relatively unknown reporter, so it seems odd that Evelyn would pick Monique as her biographer. Evelyn tells all to Monique about her celebrity life and her love life. As their time together continues, it seems there is a link between the two women, but only Evelyn knows what it is.

This book is about two women – Monique and Evelyn. Monique is at a difficult time in her life. She’s going through a divorce and her career is not where she would like it. Evelyn is older and has had a successful life. Now in her 70s, Evelyn is still a hot topic of conversation because of her films, style, and marriages.

Monique is lackluster, and her story did not pull me in. Fortunately, the majority of the book is Evelyn’s story. She is telling Monique everything about her rise in fame and the loves she had along the way. Evelyn is calculating, cutthroat, and completely self-serving. Really, she’s not a good person, but she’s fun to read about. Lots of drama and deceit.

While I wasn’t as wowed with this book as many others seem to have been, I did enjoy reading about the imagined life of Evelyn Hugo… I kept picturing the different real-life Hollywood leading ladies of the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. An interesting look at the private versus public life of celebrity. Devious, complex, and bittersweet.

I borrowed this book from my local library.

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

  1. I don’t know if I’d like this one because I am not a fan of celebrities and their lives. Blame the Kardashian family.

  2. I keep passing this one by and I think I’m glad that I have. I also get it confused with the one about 7 or 7.5 deaths of someone, which I also have not read. Great review of this one!

    1. It’s not for everyone. I’ve also read The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It was too confusing for me. I didn’t even think about the titles being similar. Very different books, but neither one was a top read for me.

  3. This was one that I was not sure about when it came out and then have read mixed reviews. It looks like you are in the meh group. Nice review.

    1. Thanks, Carla! I wasn’t sure about this one either. Saw it at the library and decided to give it a chance. It was a good one to borrow. Entertaining, but just an okay read overall.

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