The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid has been recommended by a bunch of readers on social media and its popularity has snowed balled so much that we were intrigued. We capitulated and chose it for our monthly read.
This book is my introduction to Jenkins Reid’s work. Her other book that has been highly recommended in the bookish community is Daisy Jones & The Six.
With all the hype and its popularity, did this book live up to it?
The short answer is yes. Here’s what I enjoyed about the book:
I really like the rags to riches story of how a young girl who wanted to be an actress made it to Hollywood and became a famous movie icon.
Evelyn Hugo’s career span from 1950s, when she left Hell’s Kitchen for Los Angeles, to the1980s when she left the film industry.
The story highlights her seven marriages and what she had to sacrifice to become famous.
I loved that this historical fiction was a fun light read.
Reid’s writing in this book was short and and to the point. There’s not much description and the dialogue was also limited so it was easy to keep on turning the pages.
I really enjoyed the tone of this book as it captured the old Hollywood glamour. It’s also told like a memoir when Evelyn recounts her story for Monique Grant, her biographer, so you can forget that this is not about a real person but a made up character.
Overall the story line pulled me, especially in at the beginning but after a few husbands in the story line became predictable and I was bored. However, it picked up again towards the end.
Due to the structure of the book with the retelling of Evelyn’s seven husbands, the short chapters, and the news articles interspersed, it was easy to pick it up after putting it down. I was also reading another book at the same time which became my preferred read so when I came back to this book it was easy to continue without missing a beat.
I liked the various characters in this book. I particularly liked Harry Cameron, Evelyn’s best friend.
Going in, I was unware that this book had LGBT characters, which was a nice surprise. I am finding more mainstream popular books with LGBT characters nowadays and it’s always refreshing to have a mix bag of characters when you don’t expect it.
I enjoyed Evelyn Hugo’s character. She felt like a composite of real movie stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Marlene Dietri and Marilyn Monroe. Evelyn Hugo life resembled more of Elizabeth Taylor who married eight times to seven men.
Evelyn was determined to be a movie star and did what it took to make it. She was aware of her sexuality at a young age and use it to get what she wanted.
I would have never guessed the ending. It was a surprise to find out why Evelyn chose Monique Grant to be her biographer. We had hints but I never connected the dots. Kudos to Reid!
My Final Thoughts:
I really enjoyed The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It was a light fun read and captured the Hollywood golden era well. I will be checking out her other books!
Belong to a book club? Check out The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Book Club Discussion Questions!