I loved this book! The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (great title btw) is the classic story of a girl from nothing who becomes an American icon. It’s a story within a story as she describes her life to reporter Monique where Evelyn holds nothing back… And It’s also about her husbands of course.
Evelyn is definitely a flawed character who strove for respect. There are a few cliche Hollywood storylines but Evelyn is such a strong character it doesn’t distract from the story. Ultimately it’s about what it means to be a strong independent woman and the love and sacrifices she made. Evelyn definitely commands the story, none of her husbands compare to her and her personality. She touches a lot on sexuality and race, through both men and woman’s eyes. There’s an awareness and no personal shame. The story is more about what people’s reactions would have been at the time. And how much it would have cost them to truly be who they were which I found really interesting.
I loved that parts were the gossip columns talking about Evelyn and contrasting what was actually going on in her life. Though the bulk of her story reads like an old Hollywood memoir. The title obviously makes us curious to question – which husband did she love best? Though we go through 7 of them (!) it doesn’t feel repetitive. Each represents a time period in Evelyn’s life with such different personalities. Each marriage has different circumstances so you do get interested and invested in each one.
I don’t think the story wouldn’t have worked as well without Monique. She provides the listening ear to Evelyn and I liked the way the story flipped between their points of view. We see her grow and come out of her shell the more of Evelyn’s story she hears. It’s clear how much of Evelyn’s influence takes over in the way she deals with her boss, and ex-husband. Though I did find her a little self-absorbed at times. We see her modern woman struggle mirrored by Evelyn through time.
While the twist may be a little obvious to some the story just really intrigued me. Fans of old Hollywood will love it as is super glamorous and a nice quick read – I totally binged in one blissful afternoon. Marketed as a beach read this will definitely tick a lot of boxes for those taking it on holiday but suits a curl up on the couch as well. I will definitely read again!
ABOUT THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO
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.
If you like this review try Still Me by Jojo Moyes