The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid
June 2017, 389 pages
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.
TWs: Racism, multiple death, cancer, alcohol, drugs, domestic abuse, loss/grief, mention of miscarriage, Homophobia and biphobia, cheating, blackmail, abortion, mention of suicide.
I’ve just closed my kindle after finishing reading the very last page of “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jankons Reid. I don’t normally write a review as soon as I finish a book- I usually wait until the next day or even few weeks later, I don’t always have the need to write down about the book I just finished but it’s so much different with this novel. It’s super late, I should be sleeping and here I am writing down my thoughts on my notes app.
This book moved me, it broke me even. I had a feeling about the end, I don’t know why but I could feel it coming. But let’s not talk about the end because should we really start with the end? No, we shouldn’t.
Monique is asked by Evelyn Hugo in person to come over to her place and write something about her. Monique thinks that it’s a piece for her job but it isn’t. Evelyn Hugo- an icon – wants Monique -a writer for Vibrant- to write her biography. She wants to give her all the details about her life, every single secrets she has kept her whole life and give her the chance to publish a future bestseller once she’ll be dead. This is a huge offer, but why Monique?
There’s one sentence that says “I have to Evelyn Hugo, Evelyn Hugo” and I had to read this sentence a few times because of how powerful those words are, how powerful this sentence is. Obviously if you haven’t read this book you can’t understand why I’m saying this but let me explain it to you without giving away any spoilers. Evelyn Hugo is a strong female characters, who had to fought so many difficult and different battles throughout all of her life. She went through so much, and put herself through a lot as well- to be able to save her life and give herself opportunities to accomplish big things and make sure the ones she loves will always have what they needed. She hasn’t always been good, and hasn’t always taken the best decisions but her heart was always in the right place and she would always try to do what she thought would be the best to do for her family- even if it meant for herself to hide and not being able to be fully happy in her own life. Her whole life she has to pretend to be straight for a career not to stop, at the start of her career she is asked to dye her hair blonde- Evelyn Hugo is Cuban, and she’s asked to turn into someone else to succeed. Later on she’s asked (shortly after giving birth) to get back to being sexy for movies even though she doesn’t feel like doing so at that moment. She has to marry so many different men just to hide her true love because it wouldn’t be accepted, because it would end her career.
I felt so hard for so many characters- Evelyn, Monique, Harry, Celia, Connor, Robert. I felt so close to each of them. Every twists, every secrets uncovered I felt even more for them as if I knew them.
Taylor Jenkins Reid is so talented, actually it’s not even a strong enough word to describe her writing skills. She’s gifted. Her words are so powerful, her characters, her stories, her plot twists, her whole novel is so beautifully written. I don’t have enough words to describe how much I fell in love with this author and her writing. Am I going read all her books next? Damn right, I am!
I aspire to write as beautifully as this author, she makes me want to pick up a notebook and my laptop and write down every single ideas I have to brainstorm them and write a novel, as beautiful as her the one she wrote.
I’ve been wanting to read a book by this author, and more particularly this one for ages. I’m not gonna lie that at first I was really scared to pick it up because of all the hype around it… and when a book is hyped too much, I always have too many expectations and I end up being disappointed. Was I expecting to read this kind of story? Not at all. I don’t even know anymore what I was expecting to read when I picked it up but I do know that it wasn’t the story I was expecting at all. Did it live up to its hype? Hell yes.
I know everyone can’t love every books but you should definitely give it a go.
5 ⭐️ + ❤️