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

  • Summary: With scandal and secrets aplenty, you’ll devour the pages of this juicy Hollywood tale.
  • Type: Contemporary fiction
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Review

With The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid delivers a fascinating glimpse into the illustrious life of an aging starlet.

At 79 years old, Hollywood darling Evelyn Hugo has lost everyone she’s loved including all seven of her husbands. With nothing to lose, Evelyn hires rookie journalist Monique Grant to write a tell-all memoir of her life, to be published posthumously. Finally, Hugo is spilling her confessions onto the page—who she loved the most, why she married so many times, and what life was like in late 1950s Hollywood.

Born Evelyn Herrera, Evelyn’s big dreams and cunning machinations grant her a ticket out of Hell’s Kitchen and straight into the lights of Sunset studio in L.A. Her voluptuous looks and carefully crafted charms catch the eye of studio execs. Donning a new name and look, Evelyn’s unapologetic ambition lands her in just the right roles, and the right-for-now arms of a string of famous husbands.

There was nothing she wouldn’t do to keep her name in lights, nothing she wouldn’t sacrifice—be it the great love of her life.

As the story unfurls through Evelyn’s recountal to Monique, it’s clear that despite Evelyn’s well-built armor and relentless ambition, there’s much she regrets.

As Evelyn’s storytelling continues, Monique learns the starlet’s best kept (and shocking) secrets, as well as why she chose Monique to tell her story.

Loyal readers of Taylor Jenkins Reid should know that this latest differs in style and feel from her other novels—it reads more like a true women’s fiction novel with a historical slant. Nonetheless, it’s just as mesmeric and addictive. There’s romance, yes, but it’s a thread in a much larger exploration of fame, glamour and authenticity.

With scandal and secrets aplenty, you’ll devour the pages of this juicy Hollywood tale.

About The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

From Taylor Jenkins Reid, “a genius when it comes to stories about life and love” (Redbook), comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

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 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—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.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for “creating complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

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