The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Review
This is such a beautifully written story, I wish I had picked it up sooner.
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life.
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—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.
This was my #EnchantedReadsBookClub March pick! This was a great book to spark a discussion!
This was such a great read! I’m so glad it became my March book pick and finally got me to read this one! This book seems to be a favorite by just about everyone! It’s because it was so hyped for why I was cautious picking this up. I was worried I’d hate it after so many of my friends ended up loving this one. Now after finally reading it myself, I can definitely agree! This is such a beautifully written story, I wish I had picked it up sooner.
We follow Latina, Evelyn Hugo who is an aging movie icon from the 1950s. Who after years of silence is finally ready to give an interview about her glamorous and scandalous life including all the details of each of her seven marriages. And Evelyn chooses a young journalist, Monique who can’t believe Evelyn picked her by name. Why her?
From the start, I was immediately reminded of one of my favorites, The Age of Light. Which has a similar feel, but instead of following a movie star, it’s a vogue model wanting to become a photographer. The timelines between the two are also similar, in terms of starting at the beginning of their careers and going through the years.
From the start, I was immediately reminded of one of my favorites, The Age of Light. Which has a similar feel
Even though I really enjoyed reading this one, it didn’t beat The Age of Light and it didn’t become a favorite. I loved the majority of this one, but I didn’t love it all the through.
Primarily when we got to the ending. Hate me, but I didn’t care for the twist. It felt unnecessary. I would have preferred it not being there at all. And I didn’t particularly agree with how the characters acted in regards to it, more so Monique’s reaction. I was actually surprised by Monique’s response, it was frustrating to me.
Hate me, but I didn’t care for the twist. It felt unnecessary.
I really enjoyed seeing the old Hollywood aspect. That was by far my favorite part of this one. I also looked into it and discovered that Reid did extensive research on old Hollywood as well as scandals and covers up among those in the Hollywood scene back then. I enjoyed learning that several characters were inspired or loosely based on real-life people and what they went through. I loved reading all the dirty details of Evelyn’s life and her choices to become the star she wanted to be.
I became so captivated and invested in Evelyn’s story. I enjoyed every bit of it, so much so that it always annoyed me when we had to stop and go back to the present timeline with Monique. I was always like “shut up and let Evelyn talk!” I especially loved all the bold choices she made that might have been seen as questionable. Evelyn such an amazing character to follow, I loved how strong of a lead she was.
I became so captivated and invested in Evelyn’s story. I enjoyed every bit of it
That being said, a primary portion of Evelyn’s story was sharing her greatest love, Celia. A fellow actress. I wasn’t a major fan of this, only on who the greatest love was as a person. I just found Celia so annoying to root for. She came off as this cry baby and I couldn’t stand her. I also didn’t appreciate how she would treat Evelyn and her sexuality.
This plays into more of my thoughts on Monique, I had a similar issue with her and how she would go about the LGBTQ+ community. In the beginning, when it came out that Evelyn had a lady lover, Monique immediately jumped to calling her a lesbian. Evelyn expressed that she was not, she was bi-sexual even if at the time she wasn’t aware she could identify with that term at the time. But in general, Evelyn did not care for labels, she loved who she loved. And Monique was just so close-minded about this, and I didn’t think she changed at all by the end. Especially after weeks of being with Evelyn, I expected that by the end Monique would have become more considerate.
Overall, I think this is a beautifully written story! I truly wish I had picked it up sooner. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys Historical Fiction as well as LGBTQ+ themes. And if you were a fan of The Age of Light, I think you’ll enjoy this one too.