Who should read it: Fans of historical fiction, Hollywood glamour and scandals.
Why you should read it: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is scandalous, funny and makes you realise that life is short – so be selfish and live your life the way you want.
‘When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things.’
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is ready to finally 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 surprised 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 jump start 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.
I have avoided this book for a while now, mainly due to the hype. Sometimes when a book is hyped up so much, I avoid it in case I hate it. This is not the case here as I loved it! I went into this blind, which is the best way in my opinion, so no spoilers here.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo had me on an emotional rollercoaster in all the right ways. This book has love, lust, greed, betrayal, life, death and chilling twists. This is the first book I’ve read with heavy LGBT+ themes, which was covered masterfully. This book is very cleverly written, and the narrative convinced me that Evelyn Hugo was a real person. She reminded me a lot of Marilyn Monroe. From the outfits to the hair, I believe Marilyn was the inspiration behind this character.
Evelyn is my new favourite female main character from a book. She is such a strong character, who is often selfish but doesn't care. She knows she is selfish and she owns it. This book truly helps you realise that life is short, and nobody is going to give you things, so work hard and get them yourself.
If you haven't read it yet, read it. You won't regret it!
Reid, T.J. (2021) The seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo. London etc.: Simon & Schuster.