The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkins Reid
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.
“If I’m going to tell you about my life, if I’m going to tell you what really happened, the truth behind all of my marriages, the movies I shot, the people I loved, who I slept with, who I hurt, how I compromised myself, and where it all landed me, then I need to know that you understand me. I need to know that you will listen to exactly what I’m trying to tell you and not place your own assumptions into my story.”
I don’t even where to start with this one. I did not expect to love this. Once I started reading I couldn’t get enough of Evelyn and her story. I’m still surprised that this was a fictional book and not based on a true story.
This book was about so many different topics that I feel like we need more books about, such as sexuality and hiding your true self. It also had a subject that’s a bit touchy for me and that is race. I took so much from this book that I know it’s going to stay with me for a long time.
Evelyn’s story was so painfully real and raw. I was in awe of her at times and also shocked by her actions ( I said “damn Evelyn” quite a bit while reading this), but what I couldn’t help but like about her was how unapologetically open she was about herself.
I’m not a good person, Monique. Make sure, in the book, that that’s clear. That I’m not claiming to be good. That I did a lot of things that hurt a lot of people, and I would do them over again if I had to.
She did whatever she had to do to make a name for herself and to stay in Hollywood.
Moving on the romance. The romance between Evelyn and Celia broke and put me back together again. I wanted everything for them but knew it couldn’t be because of the time period. They had a love the stood the test of time, but it wasn’t without hardship.
We’d tell the truth about our lives, and they’d bury us. We could end up in prison or in a mental hospital. Do you get that? We could be committed. It’s not that far-fetched. It happens.
It seemed as if the world would push them back ten steps for every one that they took together and it was heartbreaking but also one of the greatest relationships I’ve read about.
This story wasn’t only about just about Evelyn. We learn about Monique as well because she plays a part in this story. How big of a part? Well, you’ll find out down the line. I loved how right the author portrayed Monique as a biracial woman. She did her research and it showed through her writing. I could understand how Monique felt about how people of other races saw her and how she felt not being enough of one race. I also saw a bit of myself in her. Especially with her learning about how to go through life. She learned a lot from Evelyn and that’s going to stay with her for the rest of her life.
I loved this book! The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one the best books I read this year and I will be pushing this towards everybody that I talk to. Taylor Jenkins Ried has a new reader because I will be trying to get my hands on everything else she writes from now on.