The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
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’m not even sure where to begin. There is so much to say about this book, but I want you to go into it without knowing everything. It’s just that good. Thank you to the other bloggers who have raved about this book. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up on my own.
I love how this book is essentially a story within a story. Monique is struggling with her life right now. Her husband of less than a year left for San Francisco and she stayed in New York. Knowing that her marriage is ending has broken her, but she wants to have a career. The career she picked. Not just to move so he could have his dream job. Monique is a writer, but she’s pretty low down on the list at her company. So it surprises everyone when Evelyn Hugo not only wants to do a story, but she insists that it is Monique and no one else.
Most of the book is Evelyn’s biography, but we go back to real time and Monique’s story often. Evelyn is 79. Everyone she loved is dead and she finally wants her real story out there. She takes Monique back in time. It starts when she was young and lost her mom. Her father was abusive and she wanted to get to Hollywood, no matter what the cost. Evelyn was beautiful with an incredible body. She knew she could use that to her advantage. So she lied about her age at fourteen and marries a man that could bring her to Hollywood. That was her first marriage.
Evelyn does make it big, but there were a lot of hiccups along the way. She had to fight for what she wanted and didn’t always make the best decisions. While in Hollywood, she did meet two of her great loves. One was her best friend, Harry, whom she later marries and has a child with. The other is an actress, Celia. Evelyn takes Monique through every marriage and every mistake she made. She wants this biography to be brutally honest. Evelyn has this amazing strength. She doesn’t really apologize for anything except for some of the hurt she caused. During a time in Hollywood where men ruled, she pushed for what she wanted. She wasn’t ashamed that she was a sexual person, even making a movie that was very controversial at the time.
I don’t want to get into her marriages because I want you to be able to read it all yourself. This book made me cry multiple times and there was one part towards the end that shocked me.
This book has a lot of diversity which I loved. There was nothing about this book that I didn’t like. I gave it 5 stars and it’s one of my favorite recent reads.
A few warnings for abuse, abortion, drinking, suicide, and death.
Have you read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo yet? What did you think? Please share your review links in the comments, too.