The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of those books I’ve seen people raving about for ages. Taylor Jenkins Reid has subsequently brought out Daisy Jones and the Six which has been receiving similar praise. I spotted Evelyn Hugo on a 99p offer for Kindle earlier this year and finally got myself a copy. I chose it for my book group read and it achieved that rare status of being a book enjoyed by us all! Since probably most of the world has read it before me, I’m just sharing a mini-review today.
What’s the book about?
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.
I absolutely loved this book and was completely caught up in the remarkable life of Evelyn Hugo. The book swept me away into a world of glitz, glamour, privilege, excitement and scandal as I followed the Hollywood actress through her decades long career and her seven husbands. I really felt as though I was reading the life story of a real person, not a fictional character.
I loved all the little clippings from gossip magazines which gave just a glimpse into how the world viewed Evelyn Hugo. I was so intrigued to find out why Evelyn had chosen relatively unknown writer Monique to tell her story and when that was revealed I think I gasped out loud. I did not guess the link for a moment!
It’s quite the epic love story too and not just because of those seven husbands. This book was sheer entertainment, a real escapist read and I thought it was brilliant.
About the author
Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.