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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Review: Back-of-Book Description
“If you’re looking for a book to take on holiday this summer, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has got all the glitz and glamour to make it a perfect beach read.” —Bustle
From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & the Six—an entrancing and “wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet” (PopSugar) as she reflects on her relentless rise to the top and 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 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.
“Heartbreaking, yet beautiful” (Jamie Blynn, Us Weekly), The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is “Tinseltown drama at its finest” (Redbook): a mesmerizing 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 costs—to face the truth.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Review: My Thoughts
I first heard about this book when some friends of mine read it in their book club. Several of them raved about it! So my friend and I (with our mini, two-person book club) bought it shortly after. But it kinda sat on our shelves until we were ready.
Well after multiple thrillers (check out my last two posts: A Flicker in the Dark review and The Book of Cold Cases review) we were really ready for something else! And let me tell you…this hit the spot.
I loved the tone of the book from the start. I think it did take me a couple of days to really get into the story, but once I did I was totally hooked! I didn’t want to put it down. (Full disclosure, it took my friend much longer to get into it, but she had life things going on, so it’s unclear if it was a reflection of the book or now.)
The author touches on themes of sexuality, heartache, friendship, career ambition, and more. Without getting into specifics, it would be a nice read for Pride month as there is talk about LQBTQ issues.
The writing was so good – the style, the vocabulary, the characters, all of it! There was a pretty major plot piece that I didn’t see coming – it wasn’t discussed anywhere on the back of the book nor was it mentioned by the book club girls I talked to.
And so I won’t mention it here, because I think it’s a nice change of pace for people to have a slightly different experience than what they were expecting. It’s kind of like an early book twist, I guess.
Anyways! The story was really great. It really dove into the complexities of various different kinds of relationships – romantic and friendly. She did a good job of demonstrating that relationships often look completely different from the outside looking in. And that only the two people in the relationship know the truth about what’s going on with them.
I also think this author writes characters really well, whether it is a “villain”, a cheery supporting person, or a prominent character going through a complete arc. I felt a real attachment to some of them and got emotional when bad things happened to them. This alone makes me what to read more of her books. (I have Malibu Rising on my shelf right now!)
She also writes dialogue really well. A lot of the quotes I marked (and shared below) are spoken dialogue from one character to another. But not all of them. Because the story was just so good!
Favorite Quotes from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
“How does she know just how much to give and just how much of herself to withhold?”
“I don’t regret many of the lies I told or the people I hurt. I’m OK with the fact that sometimes doing the right thing gets ugly. And also, I have compassion for myself. I trust myself.”
“I’m under absolutely no obligation to make sense to you.”
“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.”
“…life doesn’t get easier simply because it gets more glamorous.”
“Be wary of men with something to prove.”
“People think intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you can stand in front of them bare and their response is “You’re safe with me” – that’s intimacy.”
“I was fishing for information that might break my heart, a flaw of the human condition.”
“Relationships are complex. People are messy, and love can be ugly. I’m inclined to always err on the side of compassion.”
“Or maybe [he] merely stumbled into something that worked for him, unsure what he wanted until he had it. Some people are lucky like that.”
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Review: In Conclusion
Oh my gosh. I loved this book so much. I cried a couple of times which – in my opinion – is the mark of great writing and character development. 5 stars for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo! And I will be reading more by Taylor Jenkins Reid, for sure. I hope the one I have on my shelf (Malibu Rising) is just as good!
I would recommend this book to people who have even a little nostalgia for old movies – since so much of the story talks about Hollywood in the 50s – 80s. I’d recommend it to people who like dramatic stories about complicated relationships and who really like to be surprised about their plots. I would honestly recommend it to EVERYONE!
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