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My Review | The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Photo shows the book cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid - Photo by Peri McKinnis - Peri Reads - perireads.com

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’ll be honest, I was starting to feel left out when I saw everyone all the internet raving about the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. So I went to my local bookstore and got the dang thing. Now here I am with my review of Evelyn Hugo because there’s so much to say. This book is truly riveting from start to finish. Getting to know our starlet Evelyn and our average but esteemed writer Monique who is given the opportunity of the lifetime: getting to write the biography of Evelyn Hugo. A reclusive old Hollywood star who everyone wants to get a hold of. But Monique doesn’t realize what she’s getting herself in to, and how interconnected their lives are. 

“Never let anyone make you feel ordinary.”

The story starts with an article about Evelyn donating all of her beloved gowns through Christie’s for breast cancer research in honor of her late daughter, Connor. The 60s icon hasn’t been in the spotlight for years so everyone is more than excited to see her step back into her usually glory. Then we are introduced to Monique, a writer for the Vivant, going through a break up, and trying to get her life in order. She spends her time writing and ruminating on her past. When her boss tells her that the Evelyn Hugo is interested in Monique to interview her, you don’t take this privilege lightly. 

What Monique didn’t realize was she isn’t writing a story for Vivant, Evelyn needs her to write her life story. The book is in seven parts, each part heavily focusing on all of Evelyn’s husbands in chronological order. First is Ernie, whom she marries in order to get away from Hell’s Kitchen and straight to LA. Once she makes a name for herself, Evelyn meets Don Adler, who comes from a long line of Hollywood actors. As she marries him, Evelyn gets the role of a lifetime and her career is skyrocketing. Here we meet Celia St. James, her fellow co-star and rival. Celia and Evelyn don’t get along at first but soon start a friendship that could be the detriment to both of their careers. 

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Taylor Jenkins Reid’s amazing characterization, world building, and pacing truly made this story such an entertaining read. Both Evelyn and Monique experiences losses in their lifetime that shape the person they are today. It’s understandable as to why Evelyn shuns herself away from a world that still obsesses over her. I also like how Monique talks to her. As much as she is starstruck she can’t but see Evelyn as who she is deep down. Broken but resilient. The relationship that they start to cultivate feels so real. Like two friends who haven’t seen each other in a long time. Heart breaking, raw, just whole heartedly authentic. A few tears here and there. My experience getting to know the real Evelyn Hugo is gut wrenching but rather enjoyable. 

“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.”

This book is everything I need: diverse characters, a unique storyline, forbidden love, what more do you want from a book. The ending ties it all together. The flare of old Hollywood isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. This book hit all my marks and honestly I couldn’t think of any moments that derives that point. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a story that not only deals with heart break but has a beautiful redemption. The writing is superb, cohesive, and downright amazing. Taylor Jenkins Reid is talented at what she does and she’s an author I’m keeping my eye out on for sure. 

MY RATING:

5/5

MY RATING:

5/5

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Hey! I’m Peri McKinnis

Peri McKinnis of Peri Reads

I’m a creative, I’m a dreamer, and I’m an Aries. I’ll read any book with enough convincing, I enjoy weird movies, and I’m a caffeine fiend. From the day that I brought my first book catalog home from school I knew that books were going to have a special place in my heart. Now I want to spread that love here, to talk about the books that made us cry, fall in love, and scorn because we couldn’t finish them. 

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