Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Atria Books
Intended Audience: Adult
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance
Mood: Romance, Opulence
Retired Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo is a complex character full of love, lust, and heartache. After years out of the spotlight, she is finally ready to tell her story about her glamorous life, as a young Hollywood elite to an Oscar-winning celebrity. To assist in taking her story public, she chooses novice journalist Monique Grant, but no one, not even Monique, can figure out why. Monique hasn’t quite had the most successful career, so why did Evelyn request her to cover the story every reporter would die for?
Going through her own struggle, Monique decides to take the opportunity head-on and write Evelyn’s biography. She did separate from her husband to stay in New York as a journalist, after all. Monique is determined and convinced this will be the piece to kick off her career.
Meeting Evelyn in her elegant apartment, Monique listens in astonishment as the retired actress recalls her life’s story. From moving to Los Angeles to pursue acting, finding forbidden love in the most unexpected places, and of course, retelling the story of her seven marriages throughout it all.
Monique begins to feel compassion and a connection to the legendary Hollywood star through interviewing her. Still, as Evelyn begins to tell the end of her story, it becomes somberly clear to Monique that, in fact, her and Evelyn’s lives have crossed in the most tragic, surprising, and unforeseen way.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of the most captivating novels I have read, quite possibly in my life. The biographical retelling of the life of Evelyn and her seven husbands, the drama she dealt with as a Hollywood starlet throughout the years, and how the author brought us along on her decades-long journey were incredible.
As each chapter progresses, we get an insight into Evelyn’s life and the lives of her seven husbands. Who they were, how their marriage went, how they benefited Evelyn, and what went wrong. We see Evelyn’s life as though she is sitting right there with her on the sofa in her office. While she is, undoubtedly, the star of the book and after getting to know her character so well, it’s incredible how many questions we are left with after reading.
Admittedly, Evelyn’s lifelong romance caught me by surprise; at first, I almost didn’t continue reading. Unexpected and forbidden, yet hearing their story and being brought along on the journey of their love affair made it impossible to put the book down.
The pairing of Evelyn with Monique is a match met in heaven. Monique has her own personal issues, and the lessons she learns from Evelyn will undoubtedly, stick with her throughout her life. She is a character who needs Evelyn, and Evelyn needs her. As the book progresses, it becomes clear they have a connection, but we are left on edge, unaware of that connection for quite some time.
The twists and turns of each chapter and the ups and downs of Hollywood’s most famous actress’ life are enough to keep you reading. Still, when you discover the truth, you become enthralled, unable to face what is in front of you while also not being able to look away.
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