The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Normally when I read a book I either write down my thoughts as I finish it, or I make a voice memo. It’s a way for me to remember when reading/listening later what my thought process was. Several quotes usually make it in my reviews. After a while, a book becomes more emotions than facts which isn’t always helpful. The thing is, I broke my phone a while ago and lost every single audio file, of which there were many. Not to worry though, of course I still remember.

The book in short
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 nears its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
I found this information here.

What did I think about the book?
The person Evelyn ultimately ends up with is a sort of cliffhanger, although it’s quite clear early on. But when I was visiting Waterstones they had put it on a specific table giving the whole story away already which was mildly disappointing. It’s not the biggest plot twist but still. I found the story easy to follow, it’s structured in a way that we get to meet each husband. As if Evelyn’s life truly revolves around being a married woman, it’s an interesting way to look at it. Evelyn comes across very much like a Marilyn Monroe-type future and her life is as tragic as it is glamorous. It’s a very interesting view of old Hollywood.

For me, the Monique storyline didn’t add enough for me to enjoy those parts of the book fully. At first, I felt quite sorry for her because her husband left her and such. Things like that make me sad so I generally seem to gravitate away from it. Not to mention that I had thought the relationship between Evelyn and Monique to be different than it ultimately was. It was fine how it all ended up, but my headcanon was better I suppose. The interesting thing is that my mother read the book at the same time and had the same train of thought while reading.

As I said Evelyn comes across as a Marilyn Monroe-type figure and I cannot help but feel that this was the intention. Which means a job well done. The story was easy to read. Some parts looked like newspaper clippings making it come across as Young Adult. It isn’t as it is categorized as adult but I do think people who enjoy YA, can enjoy this book.

The book was fun, if a bit tragic which makes it very realistic in my opinion. I could see all the glitter and glamour of old Hollywood through the pages. I thought this was a wonderful aspect of the story. I breezed through the story and it was over before I knew it.

This was my first book written by Taylor Jenkins Reid, it did make me want to read more of her books. Not to mention that I have recommended the seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo to friends who I thought would love it. I would say, give it a go if you are on the fence about this book.

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