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

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my favorite authors. She has the gift of storytelling. All of her books contain artfully constructed webs of plot and tremendously likable characters. This book is pretty wonderful, although it skews a little more towards character development than plot. Evelyn Hugo has been the star of Hollywood for many generations, and she’s finally ready to share her story with the world – including the truth about her seven marriages. She selects Monique Grant seemingly out of nowhere. Through a series of meetings, Monique learns all the intricate details of Evelyn’s life, and the catch is that she has to write Evelyn’s biography or no one will.

The book is written in chapters alternating between Evelyn’s tale, with one chapter per husband, and Evelyn and Monique’s interactions in between. What a life Evelyn had! Wow. Reid has strung together quite a tale in this book. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s shocking and wonderful and tragic all at the same time. It will not make you envious of Hollywood life. The characters are rich and well developed.

My only complaint about this book is that I could have done without the Monique plot line. I think Evelyn’s story could have stood on its own. That being said, I still loved this book, and I couldn’t put it down. It’s not my favorite TJR book, but it’s still a mastery. It’s only because her other works are so amazing, that I even felt like I couldn’t give this book 5 stars. I needed to differentiate her books a little in my ratings.

Rating: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact does not in any way impact my thoughts/feelings about the book.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Fiction
Atria Books
June 13, 2017
eARC
400

From Taylor Jenkins Reid 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.

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 through the decades—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.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, 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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