The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"Riveting, heart-wrenching, and full of Old Hollywood glamour, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of the most captivating reads of 2017." -- BuzzFeed

"The epic adventures Evelyn creates over the course of a lifetime will leave every reader mesmerized. This wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet and her tumultuous Tinseltown journey comes with unexpected twists and the most satisfying of drama." -- PopSugar

In this entrancing novel "that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all" ( Kirkus Reviews ), a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

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.

"Heartbreaking, yet beautiful" (Jamie Blynn, Us Weekly ), The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is "Tinseltown drama at its finest" ( Redbook ): a mesmerizing 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 costs--to face the truth.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2017
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501139239
Branch Call Number: FIC REID 2017
Characteristics: 391 pages ; 23 cm


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cmlibrary_melliott Oct 16, 2020

When Hollywood screen legend Evelyn Hugo decides to tell the salacious details of her life to a young journalist, the secrets come pouring out. Uncensored and unapologetic, Evelyn reveals her true self and why she's had to hide the real love of her life for so long. This story has heart, soul, and guts. Highly recommend.

Sep 09, 2020

An engaging story that keeps you wanting to find time to read it. It's not a storyline I would have picked on my own but it came recommended so I gave it a try. I'm so glad I did. There is much more to the story than you expect based on the story description. Evelyn Hugo is rather unlovable but she knows it and doesn't apologize. This makes her character quite intriguing.

Aug 30, 2020

A good story-line. I didn't really like the character Evelyn Hugo though. Her life is so fascinating and her personality is quite plain.

Jul 13, 2020

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” tells two stories. Mostly, it is the life story of a fictional Hollywood legend and philanthropist with many secrets, who has not shared anything of her personal life for decades. The secondary story is of the unknown writer she picks to write her biography and the effects Evelyn has on her life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Jul 06, 2020

I was expecting a quick read of a starlets life through hollywood and expecting the true love to tie in and have a happy ending. I never expected what Taylor Jenkins Reid did writing the book and I love the realness of life in it, the "happy ending" had a real life twist on it. The book kept you on your toes until the end.

Jun 22, 2020

This book is sold as a historical romance, where you learn about a fictional, famous, old Hollywood actress and all her marriages. What you get is a book that stars a bisexual, Cuban woman who was never allowed to talk about the love of her life; her wife.

On top of this being a powerful book about race, sexuality, misogyny, and having to conform to societies norms, the true meaning I took from this book is that life is short, and we shouldn’t spend it pretending to be something we aren’t. We shouldn’t spend it doing anything less than loving the people who are worthy and deserving of our love.

Jun 20, 2020

I had heard how good this book was, so I was excited to find a copy in a nearby little free library and bumped it to the front of my TBR pile. Well, now I've read it and I'm honestly disappointed. I guess it just wasn't the book for me as it's basically a soap opera, and gives the term "chick lit" a bad name. It's the story of a classic Hollywood movie star reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor or Marilyn Monroe. There is gossip, glamour, and sex, mixed in with lots of cigarettes and booze. The concept is that the 89-year-old Evelyn Hugo contacts Monique, a young unknown journalist, and insists that Monique interview and write Evelyn's biography, to be published after Evelyn's death. The bulk of the story is narrated by Evelyn and told in flashback - with a lot of cliches and predictable outcomes. I didn't think it was well-written, I didn't care for any of the characters, as none of them were particularly likable. I can't recommend this book.

Jun 06, 2020

Love, love, LOVE this book! So entertaining, easy to read and definitely one you want to re-read as soon as you've finished it. Great storytelling, captivating characters and a satisfying ending.

AndreaG_KCMO Jun 04, 2020

The media excerpts littered throughout the novel ensnared me as per the author's intention: I assumed that aged starlet Evelyn Hugo's story would be preoccupied with the men in her life rather than in her actual life. On the contrary, she uses each marriage as a touchstone for growing knowledge of her desires, her fears, and her power. The two greatest surprises of her narration occur toward the beginning and toward the end of the novel, perfectly placed to maintain forward motion. With similarly colorful characters and time period as City of Girls, I feared that it would not capture my attention as fully. For the umpteenth time this year, I was wrong.

This was just...a lot, and unexpected in so many ways for me, even being well aware of the hype surrounding it.

Evelyn Hugo is Hollywood royalty, and she's ready to tell her story - but only to Monique Grant, who is as shocked by Evelyn's insistence on her involvement as her magazine, Vivant, is. She expects a story about the gowns Evelyn is donating to a good cause, but instead, she gets the story of Evelyn's life laid bare before her. Everything she's kept secret, locked away for decades as she clawed her way to the top, detailed for Monique to make millions off of. It turns out to be anything but a simple story, and Evelyn Hugo has surprises waiting that Monique can never prepare for.

I don't know what expectations I had going into this book, other than it would be like reading gossip magazines and getting an insider look at the glam life of Hollywood stars. I guess, on the surface, it kind of is, but my g o d, it is so much more than that, and Evelyn's story has this heart to it that I could not have prepared for.

Evelyn is the definition of a morally grey character. She is not sorry for anything she's done, and boy, has she done a lot in her pursuit of fame and money. She's fierce in her love for her family, formidable in how she has tackled the media and her career, and the lessons she learns along the way are heartbreaking and painful and often catastrophically hard-hitting. She leaps off the page much like Daisy Jones does (yes, I read these books in the "wrong" order). She oozes charisma, and her losses hit so hard because she feels so real.

I love the format of this one too. You can see where Taylor Jenkins-Reid is going, how she develops into the biographical style of Daisy Jones and the Six, but I think that this more classic style really worked for this book. It was like reading a transcript in some ways, but still felt like a novel, which I enjoy. The one thing that jarred me out of it a bit were the long breaks and then the return to Monique's reality. I didn't want to go back; I wanted to be entirely consumed by Evelyn's life. And without any indication at the start of the chapter that that was what was happening, sometimes it was hard to return to the "real" world.

The connection between Evelyn and Monique was a long time coming, and I found that it did drive the novel, but ultimately, there was a part of me that almost found I don't know why. I had a strange, almost disappointing reaction the reveal that definitely wasn't what I expected because I had been enjoying the rest of the book so much. But alas, I guess it happens, and it's the main reason I take a star off.

I love that this is a novel that simultaneously critiques so many things. Patriarchal society, the movie business, the pursuit of fame, the drive to be happy and find oneself in a world that constantly tells us that we are not enough as we are. I love its LGBTQ+ themes, its salacious-insider-knowledge feel, its characters who know right from wrong but who straddle the line consistently. It's a good one, and I know I'll be recommending it for years to come.

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Sep 23, 2019

“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.” - p. 35

Sep 23, 2019

“People think that intimacy is about sex.
But intimacy is about truth, when you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘You're safe with me'- that's intimacy.” - p.113

Sep 23, 2019

“Don't ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box… Don't do that.” - p.124

Jul 08, 2019

When u dig just the tiniest bit beneath the surface,everyone’s love life is original& interesting &nuanced& defies any easy definition.
Author to husband-thank u for understanding why bk so NB to me &4 being so into it. For being the kind of man who encourages me to shout louder, dream bigger, & take less shit. Thx for never making me feel i should make myself smaller to make someone else feel better. Our daughter’s growing up w a father who’ll stick by her side no matter who she is, & will show her how she should expect to be treated by modelling it for her. Evelyn nor I had that, she will, because of you.


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Kristen MERKE
Mar 11, 2019

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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