The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins ReidThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel

byTaylor Jenkins Reid

Paperback | June 13, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 110 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


From Taylor Jenkins Reid, “a genius when it comes to stories about life and love” (Redbook), comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—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 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.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for “creating complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), this is a fascinating 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 takes—to face the truth.
Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author, essayist, and TV writer. Her debut novel, Forever, Interrupted, has been optioned with Dakota Johnson attached to star. She is adapting her second book, After I Do, for ABC Family. Her most recent novel, Maybe In Another Life has become a best-selling e-book. In addition to her novels, Taylor's essays ...
Title:The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A NovelFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:400 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 1.1 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.31 × 1.1 inPublished:June 13, 2017Publisher:Atria BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501174827

ISBN - 13:9781501174827


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book I've ever read Since buying this, I have read it 3 times. It's amazing. I was reading it on the bus at one point and I was thinking to myself "Damn, I really should watch an Evelyn Hugo movie" only to realize that she wasn't real.
Date published: 2019-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good I have enjoyed other TJR books more, but enjoyed this storyline. Lots of twists and turns I wasn't expecting. I just found some parts dragged out and slow. Amazing ending though.
Date published: 2019-08-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from My introduction to Taylor Jenkins Reid and it did not disappoint! This was the first novel I purchased by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I fell in love with her writing style- I love the way she weaves the story, and I especially loved hearing about young Evelyn Hugo as she works her way into the Hollywood scene. The glitz and glamor of classic Hollywood was a bonus that kept me coming back chapter and chapter again to hear more of. Not only that, but the concept and story was so unique. The perfect beach read!
Date published: 2019-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! I couldn’t put this book down! The story draws you into the whirlwind of ‘60s and ‘70s Hollywood, with Evelyn’s perseverance to climb up the ranks and personal hardships keeping you compelled from start to finish. I absolutely loved it!
Date published: 2019-07-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Story It was just so good! I finished it in one day. As much heartbreaking as it was, the story was fascinating and I was so curious about all the husbands and the Hollywood drama/glamour of that era. It's the second book I read from the author and I was not disappointed at all.
Date published: 2019-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning I read this book in essentially a single day. It was spectacular and I’m truly shocked it’s not on the NYT Bestsellers list. It was heartbreakingly beautiful and one of the best novels I’ve read. A stunning love story. Kudos to Taylor Jenkins Reid for writing such a lovely book.
Date published: 2019-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing This was my first Taylor Jenkins novel. Immediately liked this book a few pages in. Evelyn Hugo's character will have you intrigued throughout the whole novel. It was well written, never a dull and overall full of great twists. Another summer read I would recommend.
Date published: 2019-06-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Breathtaking. Heartbreaking. I seriously could not put this book down. Old Hollywood and modern day meet in this story. You will not be disappointed.
Date published: 2019-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Is this book worth the hype? In a word: yes. Trigger warnings: sexual assault, rape, domestic abuse, cheating, homophobia, biphobia, alcoholism, mentions of suicide I was initially hesitant to read this book, because I was seeing it everywhere and I had not heard a single bad thing said about it. And there was absolutely no way that this book could live up to the kind of hype that was swelling around it. Except that it kind of did. I found the characters deeply flawed and compelling. They were remarkably complex, ambitious, ruthless, and hypocritical. And I just wanted more of all of them, particularly the ones in the past. The portions of the book set in the present were not as compelling, but I think that was kind of the point. Evelyn Hugo’s story – her entire life really – is supposed to feel larger than life. That’s why the whole world is so invested in her. So of course “real life” is going to feel dull and unsaturated in comparison. The Verdict: I’m honestly at a bit of a loss for words here. Weeks later, I am still thinking about this book. Never before have I come out of reading a historical fiction book and been so deeply disappointed that the characters were fictional. All I have wanted to do for the past few weeks is watch all of Evelyn Hugo’s movies. Which I can’t. Because she is fictional. I am still completely captivated by this woman and her life. And so I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
Date published: 2019-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read it all pretty much in one day I love this book. I finally set a few hours aside one day to really get into the book and managed to finish it. "Gay rights!" -Taylor Jenkins Reid
Date published: 2019-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A wonderful love story. I enjoyed this book more than Daisy Jones and the Six. I love the story of Evelyn and the awesome twist that I didn't expect. The author wrote it as Evelyn telling her memoir and it was really well done.
Date published: 2019-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing historical fiction I have heard so much about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and I can say that it almost, almost lives up to all the hype it's been getting. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an atmospheric historical fiction set in the golden age of Hollywood, with all the scandal that entails. However, I did have some minor issues with this book, especially in the first half. But then I cried at the end, and any book that can actually make me cry warrants 5 stars from me. The real standout of this book was the characters. Each and every major character is complex, flawed, and wholly human, and Evelyn Hugo was front and centre. Evelyn is viciously ambitious, determined, and cunning in her climb to stardom. Yet at the same time--she's caring, loves fiercely, and yearns for a family. Evelyn makes an immense amount of sacrifices for her career, changing her name and hair, getting seen and even marrying the right men, to secure a place for herself in stardom--at the cost of denying her Cuban heritage and tearing her apart from her one true love. It's a brutal look on how women and queer people are treated in Hollywood, but there are so many amazing people in this book that push through it to live their lives the way they want--Celia St. James, Evelyn's lifelong lover; Harry, a producer and Evelyn's best friend. They were so vivid and lively and almost untouchable at the same time while also seeming very human, which is normally very hard to pull off. I adored the relationships in this book as well. Evelyn and Celia's ran on and off throughout the whole book, and it surprised me that a book titled The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was so queer. None of Evelyn's husbands mattered as much as Celia did, and they worked so hard to find happiness together. Even though their relationship had its tense moments because of the difficulties of being queer in Hollywood, it was just so heartwarming and sweet and real. Harry and Evelyn were also wonderful; I love how Evelyn's relationships show that family doesn't have to just be a nuclear family, and how dedicated Evelyn is to everyone in her family: from Celia, to Harry, to her daughter Connor. As the book goes on and Evelyn grows older, Evelyn's dedication to her family ultimately trumps her dedication to her career, and the shift is so subtle because Evelyn remains so determined throughout the whole book. I cried at the end. I didn't realize just how invested in the characters I had gotten, even though Evelyn Hugo is comparatively short compared to all the other adult literary fiction that made me want to toss the book out the window. It usually takes me 600+ pages to get really into the characters in a book, but Evelyn Hugo did it in 300. The end crushed me, and I'm fairly stoic and rarely cry, ever. (I didn't even truly cry at the end of A Little Life, though I did toss the book across the room; I definitely cried more during this book, and the endings were very reminiscent of each other.) I have to commend Reid for managing to craft such an emotional tale out of one that I started out thinking was just glitz and glamour and a rich Hollywood life. The weakest part of the book was the choice to cut it through with Monique's story, which I wasn't invested in at all. It pulled me out of Evelyn's narrative constantly just when I was getting into it, and as a consequence I didn't find myself truly invested in the story and Monique until about halfway through--and even then, I felt let down by what linked Monique and Evelyn together because of how much it was hyped up. Had there been less cryptic foreshadowing, I don't think I would have expected as much from how both of them were linked as I did. But The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was one of the best books I've read so far this year. It's a fresh new look on a genre that largely ignores the existence of queer people and people of colour and centres them in a narrative where they have existed and will always exist. It mixes up all the glamour of old Hollywood with diverse and vividly real characters who defy the odds given to them, and filled with strong, fierce women who will fight tooth and nail for everything they want and won't stop until they get it.
Date published: 2019-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy to devour 3.75 Stars. Nice light read, loved the view of Hollywood and how difficult it can be for women yet I didn't feel wowed at any particular moment.
Date published: 2019-03-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from “I hate Evelyn, but I think I like her very much” There is a quote in this book that rather sums up my feelings “I hate Evelyn, but I think I like her very much” After hearing all the booktubers go gaga over this book and reading some of the thousands of five star reviews I had to see what the fuss was about. Ok I will admit it was an enjoyable read. It was engaging but by no means do I believe this is fine literature. It is a chick lit, soap opera -ish entertaining read. I did not like the character Evelyn but I don’t think we are supposed to. She is a royal Bitch with a capital B who has used and manipulated people in her life to prove herself in the male driven world of Hollywood . Her accomplishments are to be admired but it does not make her a likeable person. In her late 70s now , she commissions a young journalist to write her biography . One that will tell the world that the Evelyn Hugo she allowed the world to see was her finest performance and just an act but she has selected this journalist, Monique, for a very specific reason unbeknownst to Monique and therein lies the twist. I didn’t love this book, I don’t think it would be in my top reads category but I did enjoy it in the same way I enjoy a decent movie for a brief time. 3 1/2 stars for me which is still a pretty decent rating and worth giving a try
Date published: 2019-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So good! Can I just say I know I waited far too long to read this! You're all right, it's amazing! As a quick sidebar, I've been obsessed with a podcast called You Must Remember This, which looks at the lost and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood in the 20th century. This book was basically a novel version of that podcast. Once my friend said it was full of all the gossip and scandal that I was currently listening to on repeat, I knew I had to start this asap. This book was amazing in terms of how it handled race, sexuality, abuse, feminism, and scandal, among many other things. Hollywood, and really society in general, in the 20th century was a hot mess. Taylor Jenkins Reid took such care in writing from a perspective that had both their race and sexuality practically scrubbed from existence. She uses hindsight so well to explain Evelyn's decisions and thoughts, and doesn't shy away from showing how much she sacrificed to get to the top. The side characters were as important to the story as Evelyn was. They are all flawed and real and fucked up and struggling to find their way in a world that has shifting rules. I think because I have been listening to that podcast, it took away some of the shock factor that really rocked other people, especially the ending. Everything in this book is literally ripped from real life headlines, like Evelyn's character can be seen in Rita Hayworth or Harry Cameron in Montgomery Clift. It doesn't take anything away from their characterization, as I loved them all dearly. I just wasn't as affected by the ending. Love this book and would highly recommend it. If you're looking for supplementary material to indulge in after this book, definitely check out You Must Remember This!!!
Date published: 2019-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It was enjoyable I understand why people love this book. It was really enjoyable and I found myself wanting to know the answers to all of my questions (and Monique's). I listened to this on audiobook and I think this was the only way for me to enjoy it fully. Historical fiction/Contemporary isn’t my go-to genre but I am glad that I chose to give this a go. In all honesty, I didn’t really care for Monique and her life (though I did like her change throughout the story). Evelyn and the choices she made to get her to that point in her life were what kept me interested.
Date published: 2019-01-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking and Beautiful! I get it. Now, after completing this book and sitting here almost in tears a half an hour after finishing this book, I fully understand why it's so highly recommended. I get it. Seriously. I read this nearly 400 page book in one sitting. If that isn't a true testament to how much I couldn't bring myself to put it down, I don't know what is. I'm going to leave this review fairly vague because I think, like many things, it's best to go into this novel with little to no knowledge. Heck, even do what I did and pre-judge what the story will be about prior to reading on the basis that the main character has "seven husbands". Do that and you'll definitely be surprised with how fast that judgment changes. Everything about this novel was just so unique and unlike...anything. Anything that I've ever read before. The writing, the characters, the plot. Everything felt new and I felt surprised in all that I was reading. My emotions through reading this story ran amuck and went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows (that went even lower). At this point, after completing this novel, I'm tempted to order each and every other novel that Taylor Jenkins Reid has published. I loved this novel THAT much and even though it's only January 2019 I can say with absolute certainty that this will be one of my best reads of 2019.
Date published: 2019-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! The first half was great, pretty much what you would expect given the title and all the five star reviews, but as I went into the second half I was more and more impressed at the complexity of the characters, the nuance, and just how real everything felt despite the fact that getting married seven times sounds outrageous. I would definitely recommend it, even if historical fiction is not your thing. I rarely pick up books of this genre but I truly loved it.
Date published: 2018-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Book You Cannot Put Down The story of Evelyn Hugo, and her seven husbands throughout her career is unlike any other. The different mysteries that are in this novel make it impossible to put down for even a second. For being a book with the majority of it set during the 1960s-1970's, the story is full of diverse, complex characters which was really refreshing. This is easily one of the best books I've ever read.
Date published: 2018-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite book this year! This has been my favourite book so far this year. It didn't sound like something I would normally pick up but someone recommended it to me so I gave it a go. I'm so glad I did. The characters were wonderful and complex, not necessarily likable, but I was fascinated by them and couldn't put the book down.
Date published: 2018-07-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good easy read A nice easy, enjoyable, light read. Liked the surprise twist at the end!
Date published: 2018-07-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not one of my favourite Taylor Jenkin Reid's books I usually love Reid's books. This was an exception. I was curious about why Evelyn had seven husbands and that was reveled early in the book. After that I lost interest. I didn't like the character of Evelyn at all. She was selfish and obsessed with fame and was willing to hurt anybody. I didn't care about her story line with Celia. The reason she picked Monique to write her biography was beyond strange. I'm surprised it has such a high rating. I wish I didn't read it.
Date published: 2018-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Juicy but also REAL You know when you're so hooked by a book that you race towards the end, only to feel really sad that you didn't relish it when you get there? That's how I felt about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, which exceeded my (already kind of hyped) expectations. It's juicy, compelling, heartfelt, and complicated and I 100% recommend it it.
Date published: 2018-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good! Enjoyed it very much. I must admit I was surprised it wasn’t a cheesy hollywood read.
Date published: 2018-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant! I actually had to pace myself as I didn't want it to be over. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
Date published: 2018-04-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved This! I went in blind on this one, as it was getting good reviews. I just loved it! It's not my genre, but I got through it quickly, because I needed to know how it ended.
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a beautifully written book. It's an engrossing page turner that I think is destined to become a classic. Reid has created some remarkably deep characters. Evelyn is so complex - she is quite unlikeable, and yet I felt for her with all the crap she went through. It actually made me tear up at times. The plot itself is a very revealing look at Hollywood, especially in this era of #metoo. I can easily imagine some of the old-school celebrities reading this book and seeing the sad truth in it. There is also a very strong LGBT sub-plot that I loved. This book has been added to my list of great reads I recommend to everyone. So... go read it!
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprised I thought this was going to be a cheesy hollywood novel but it was actually quite good and entertaining! It had a lot more depth than I thought it would. Definitely an absorbing read!
Date published: 2018-03-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from worth the hype I was initially hesitant about picking this up because it was getting so much hype. I didn’t expect much but it turned out be a quite interesting. It was engaging from the very beginning. Evelyn Hugo is a fascinating character. I may not have liked her but the story had many twists that I needed to know how everything turned out. I understand why people call Taylor Jenkins Reid books the perfect summer/beach read because once you pick one up you don’t want to put it down. I would have read it in one sitting if I had the time. This is my first Taylor Jenkins Reid novel but it won’t be my last. She knows how to tell a story that hooks you on every word.
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from very good gets you interested and really good ending that was not predictable.
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great vacation read I bought this book to read whilst on vacation and enjoyed it thoroughly. The story is engaging enough so that you keep wanting to pick the book back up. I was pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT! I loved everything about this book, I was hooked from the first page. The story was fabulously written, I felt glamorous just reading it. The author does a great job at capturing the eras the book takes place in without being campy. The characters are likable and so well developed that it was almost like reading a memoir. I really fell in love with the character of Evelyn Hugo, I kept wanting to Google her and watch her films only to remember, multiple times, she wasn’t real. The many themes in this book shone through, interracial relationships (and more than the stereotypical 1 that we’re used to), tons of LGBTQ representation and the author depicts ageism in classic Hollywood really well. This book was such an emotional read for me, I cried many times throughout. I loved reading it so much, I was sad to finish it.
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read! I loved this book. I could not put it down. The characters are well developed and the author draws the reader in right from the very first page. This book was a pleasant surprise and I now want to read everything else by the author!
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly Recommended One of the best books I read this year! Thought-provoking, engaging, and highly entertaining, Evelyn Hugo will stay with you long after you turn the last page!
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun read I loved this story. Great twist at the end and glamour and drama throughout. Love a good Hollywood story. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cannot recommend enough! Right off the bat: I cannot recommend this book enough! I loved the narrative, the characters, how much it drew me in and made me feel – I was captivated. The story begins not with Evelyn Hugo but with Monique Grant, a writer whose career isn’t exactly taking off and whose life is misdirected in the midst of her divorce. Then Evelyn Hugo, a Hollywood icon with a story to tell, specifically requests Monique to write her biography, leaving Monique more than a little confused. Why her? Why now? Needless to say, she puts all questions aside and agrees to write the piece she is sure will launch career. Monique begins meeting Evelyn at her home and Evelyn does not spare any of the details of her life – the secrets, the scandal, the intimacy, and every complexity in between. Monique begins to develop an understanding of the Hollywood starlet and her unique way of living life. The bond that forms between them is complex and interesting and continues to build until a surprise twist towards the end of the novel that leaves Monique unsure how to feel about Evelyn and the secrets she has kept. Throughout it all, you learn about the loves of Evelyn’s life, you get drawn into their lives, their emotions, the struggles they face in the spotlight (and out of it); you begin to absolutely loathe or adore each of these characters for what they bring to Evelyn’s life and you feel you are right there with them, living it all. This novel opens the door wide up on Evelyn Hugo’s fascinating life – the stardom, the sexuality, the power. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and above all it will leave you wanting more.
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! By far one of the best novels by this author, it was intriguing, heartwarming and the twist at the end left me shocked! Loved the story line and how the author tied everything together!
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just Okay This book was one of those novels that I've read in which I don't have a strong reaction either way. It wasn't great, but it wasn't awful either.
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Story! This is my favourite book by this author - so much emotion and touching on a subject that you feel would be over done - but she has managed to give it a whole new spin with a main character that is just phenomenal! the book touches on the pursuit of happiness and what women feel they need to be in order to be seen as successful and often how they are forced to reevaluate what they thought they knew. It's an easy read - not too demanding, but the love affair is so sweet and emotionally charged. Loved it!!!
Date published: 2017-08-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing read! Loved it from start to finnish!
Date published: 2017-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I'm officially a fan I think this is my 4th book by this author that I've really enjoyed. Well written, easy to read, and easy to get connected to the story.
Date published: 2017-08-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Well Written but Just OK I've loved all books from this author and this was the first one I found was just ok. The concept is interesting but I'm not sure it was executed in the most exciting way. I found it drawn out and a little hard to stay interested. If it wasn't for the author alluding to the twist ending I would have put it down. Still an enjoyable read!
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing This story is about a woman who has loved, found, lost, and struggled until she has fully accepted herself and opens up to the world. The main theme of this book is something you could never possibly tell by its title. This book is about love, about pursuit of happiness, and about a human right that we still seem to be struggling with to accept completely (well in some countries and in some people’s minds). This book contains so much emotions that it took me several days to consume and think what I should write about after I had finished it.
Date published: 2017-07-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very enjoyable read Taylor Jenkins Reid brings Evelyn to life in a way that made it quite easy to forget that this was fiction.
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just alright, nothing special I believed the hype about this book and purchased it right away. It was OKAY, it wasn't great. Though the story was interesting and held my attention once it got started, I found all the twists and turns too melodramatic. Almost like a soap opera - and I HATE soap operas. Also, I didn't particularly like any of the main characters in this book so I had a hard time really caring about what happened to them.
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love Taylor I have read all her books and love them all for different reasons! She always makes you fall in love with all the characters that you almost feel like you know them:) I have to say tho this was my least fave of them all, I found it a little bit less emotional still a great read tho. However if you did enjoy this book and have not read any of her others I suggest you do!
Date published: 2017-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read Taylor Jenkins Reid is a fantastic writer. This book really lets you see into the life of a hollywood icon. Its thoughtful, well written, and keeps you guessing throughout.
Date published: 2017-07-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Exciting and fast paced book.
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from good beach read light and 'fluffy', a good book to read on the beach when you want to zone out
Date published: 2017-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyable and compelling Extremely well written novel
Date published: 2017-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating! I've never read TJR before but am thoroughly impressed. This book was utterly captivating. To be honest, there is not more that I can add to the reviews that have come before mine. I wasn't sure what to expect with this story and a friend highly recommended it. As I was in need of a really good book, I was pleasantly surprised to find how enjoyable and compelling this story was. It was extremely well written, capturing the flawed persona that was Evelyn Hugo. Sometimes you liked her and sometimes you didn't. But either way...she made you feel. A definite read if you want a novel with substance to it.
Date published: 2017-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from loved it awesome read, highly recommend it.
Date published: 2017-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A captivating novel Right off the bat: I cannot recommend this book enough! I loved the narrative, the characters, how much it drew me in and made me feel – I was captivated. The story begins not with Evelyn Hugo but with Monique Grant, a writer whose career isn’t exactly taking off and whose life is misdirected in the midst of her divorce. Then Evelyn Hugo, a Hollywood icon with a story to tell, specifically requests Monique to write her biography, leaving Monique more than a little confused. Why her? Why now? Needless to say, she puts all questions aside and agrees to write the piece she is sure will launch career. Monique begins meeting Evelyn at her home and Evelyn does not spare any of the details of her life – the secrets, the scandal, the intimacy, and every complexity in between. Monique begins to develop an understanding of the Hollywood starlet and her unique way of living life. The bond that forms between them is complex and interesting and continues to build until a surprise twist towards the end of the novel that leaves Monique unsure how to feel about Evelyn and the secrets she has kept. Throughout it all, you learn about the loves of Evelyn’s life, you get drawn into their lives, their emotions, the struggles they face in the spotlight (and out of it); you begin to absolutely loathe or adore each of these characters for what they bring to Evelyn’s life and you feel you are right there with them, living it all. This novel opens the door wide up on Evelyn Hugo’s fascinating life – the stardom, the sexuality, the power. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and above all it will leave you wanting more.
Date published: 2017-06-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A unique, feminist take on celebrity and the Hollywood diva Most of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books are about love – romantic and otherwise. They feature contemporary characters, people who might be your best friend or your sister or your uncle. They’re people you could be friends with, or friendly with, and good people you unquestioningly feel for. This one is different. While it still includes TJR’s trademark wisdom, directness, and honesty, the characters and themes make this book stand out from the rest of her oeuvre. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is about an unapologetically strong, fierce, feminist of a main character. Someone who could be deemed unlikeable, someone definitely not shy, polite, or ready to just take things as they are. Let me backtrack. As the synopsis indicates, writer Monique Grant is unexpectedly given the opportunity to write the tell-all memoir of Hollywood legend Evelyn Hugo. It’s the chance of a lifetime, but Monique’s not sure why it’s her chance. Still, the offer is too good to turn down. The novel alternates between scenes of Monique interviewing Evelyn and Monique’s own emotional history, but largely looks at Evelyn’s life, upbringing, and eventual stardom with her husbands as benchmarks. You’ll quickly realize is that as much emphasis as the title (and in some ways, the world of the novel) places on Evelyn’s marriages, it’s not about the husbands at all. It’s about Evelyn – her desperation in poverty, her recognition of her own beauty and sexuality, and her understanding of how to use those gifts to her advantage. What TJR has done with Evelyn Hugo is present a character who is unabashedly strong. There is no one like Evelyn Hugo in any of her previous books. No one who could be seen as both hero and villain, and no one as publicly vilified and vindicated at every turn. Every action that Evelyn makes throughout the novel has subtext. It’s these layers that make her such an extraordinary character. For someone who has read almost all of TJR’s work, it’s a surprise. It feels a little jarring at first, because you’re not going to love these characters like your friends. And yet, it’s a departure that is completely understandable given the state of politics in the US. Add to that the fact that Taylor just had a daughter, and the dedication of the book makes perfect sense. TJR tells her daughter to “smash the patriarchy.” To me, there’s no doubt that Taylor did that with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. To say more about the plot would rob you of some of the surprises – and you need them. In fact, to me, the only part of this book that kept me from absolutely loving it was that the plot occasionally felt a little predictable. It’s like when you watch any kind of biopic of a performer – there are always moments that you can see coming, but you know they have to happen, even if it is a little cliche. In Evelyn Hugo, that felt especially true at the end. The good thing is that despite the occasional predictability, and the fact that this book is a complete departure for TJR, it’s still a TJR book. It still has Taylor’s amazing secondary characters, incredible friendships, and moments of wisdom that make you nod and cry and highlight. BONUSES: Feminism: If you only read this section of my reviews (I know some of you do, and that’s totally cool!), just know that this is probably one of the most feminist books I’ll read this year. It’s full on #feminist #bossbabe #bitchesgetthingsdone Diversity: I really can’t give too many bonuses without giving things away, so I’m going to be vague and just say that there’s diversity in everything here – from race and ethnicity to sexual orientation. It’s hard finding fun books that do this well, so I applaud TJR for this. THE FINAL WORD: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is both a quick and complicated read. You could take it to the beach because of the Hollywood aspect, but you’ll come back with a surprisingly bold idea of what can and should be done for women, for people of colour, and for people who identify as queer. While it’s a departure from Taylor Jenkins Reid’s other works, it nonetheless includes her unapologetically emotional prose, her very human exploration of relationships, and her direct wisdom that speaks to something fundamental in your heart. A worthwhile summer read.
Date published: 2017-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I'm a TJR Insta-Fan After This Book! *I received an advance copy of this book from Simon&Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review* this does not affect my opinion.* Raise your hand if you've ever been in a reading slump. *raises my hand* And raise your hand if you have a very particular remedy that can maybe get you out of that slump. *raises hand again* Moving and unpacking last month threw me into a huge slump for everything that wasn't work, pretending to unpack, and napping. The fix for one of my reading slumps is almost exclusively graphic novels or a middle grade read. Alas, June snuck up on me and even though I wasn't out of my slump I had to start reading Evelyn. Imagine my surprise when all of a sudden I wanted to forestales every responsibility in favour of reading this book! MY SLUMP WAS BUSTED BY ADULT FICTION AND UNICORNS ARE REAL! I knew right from the beginning that I was going to LOVE this book. The writing is so incredibly captivating that you can't help but want more. It felt so real, as if I could feasibly be the one interviewing this mega Hollywood star but also super lush and out of reach at the same time. It was as if I was reading a movie. Taylor Jenkins Reid also did an incredible job of bribing the characters to life. I spent the entire book fighting the urge to go Google Evelyn Hugo because she was so compelling that I was positive she must be a real person. Even the secondary characters that appear in the stories of her early life felt like people I wanted to be able to look up pictures of. I wanted to go on Netflix and binge watch movies featuring Evelyn and her cohorts...all the time. I also loved Monique and all her flaws, ideals, and fierce ambition. She was a great person to place opposite Evelyn and her story arc was also captivating. Now the story itself was another stunning part of this read. It was full of the glitz and glamour one would expect from a tale of Hollywood but it also highlighted the underhanded side of life among the Stars. It wasn't an action book but it felt like the pace never slowed. I constantly wanted to find more and all the new info on Evelyn's life was like being on a roller coaster. You never knew what was going to happen or who was going to do what as part of a meticulous, calculated plan. It was intriguing, heartbreaking, and clever. Although a very flawed character, Evelyn also provides some very strong feminist messages. At one point she discusses the idea of women owning their sexuality and engaging in sexual activities for the purpose of their own pleasure versus it being merely a means to the end of keeping a male in their life satisfied. She's unapologetic about using men as they would and do use her. Although a slightly flawed and problematic approach, this is Evelyn attempting to level a playing field which is heavily not in her favour for many reasons. She is such a fierce and ambitious woman who shows us all that it's okay to want things and to try to actually get those things.
Date published: 2017-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from INCREDIBLE BOOK! I just finished this book and I want to start it again and read it all over again! INCREDIBLE BOOK. What a formidable character Evelyn Hugo. The story unfolds beautifully and the end is both sad and satisfying. When I say I read this book, I actually devoured it in two nights. Recommending it to everyone I know. Strong female characters written with an authentic and unique voice. The back and forth to present day isn't disruptive; if anything, it's more like a breath of fresh air to pause on the tension and emotional rollercoaster of the narrative. Do yourself a favour, get a drink and read this book and just enjoy it.
Date published: 2017-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique and compelling Having read all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books, I know one thing for sure: when you read one of her books, you can expect the unexpected. Going into The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I knew absolutely nothing about the story. I didn’t care. From the time I finished TJR's debut, Forever, Interrupted, she’s had a spot on my auto-read list, so it didn’t really matter what her latest book was about, because I knew I’d likely devour it and love it, and I was right. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a story about love, friendship, secrets, loss, and doing whatever is necessary to survive and succeed. It takes place from the 1950s until present day, alternating between modern day, with Monique’s story, and spanning through the decades with Evelyn’s story about her humble beginnings through her success as a Hollywood star. Evelyn was an incredibly complex character. She was deeply flawed, but she was refreshingly aware of those flaws - in fact, she’d be the first to point them out. She was ruthless at times, and she knew it. She did whatever it took to rise to the top - used people, hurt people, told lies. She was criticized for the things men often do that no one thinks twice about, and she was shameless in that. She used her body and her sex appeal to get what she wanted. She did whatever it took to get ahead, to keep her secrets, to live the life she wanted. Her strength and her vulnerability made me truly feel for her. This story really makes you think about Hollywood and how things are handled. I loved the addition of the tabloid articles every few chapters. You’d see things from Evelyn’s perspective as they happened and then get the media’s skewed version, almost always more salacious. There’s so much speculation and out-and-out lies told about celebrities, and this book really showcased that. It was sad that Evelyn had to be careful who she trusted, but it was also fascinating how she learned to spin the press to her own advantage on many occasions. I’m not the type to believe anything in tabloids (I don’t actually read them, but I’ve made a game out of reading the ludicrous headlines in a scandalized voice while waiting in line at the grocery store - as you do), but I do see occasional celebrity gossip/news online, and it makes me wonder about some of the things I’ve read and heard about my favourite celebrities. It’ll definitely make me stop and think about certain things I hear from now on. SPOILERS AHEAD DEALING WITH THE ROMANCE IN THE BOOK Before I read this book, I saw several people shelve it under LGBTQ+ on GoodReads, and I was curious. I thought maybe Evelyn had kissed a woman or even had sex with a woman, or that maybe one of her husbands was gay, hence the LGBTQ+ shelving. So I was shocked - pleasantly so - to discover Evelyn Hugo was bisexual. As a bisexual woman myself, I think the storyline was handled well, and I was impressed and pleased with how TJR captured the complexities and nuances of sexuality, and the fact it’s not black and white (as Evelyn once said Celia saw it, depending on whether she loved or hated Evelyn). It was heartbreaking and eye-opening to see how Evelyn and Celia had to hide their relationship for fear it would ruin their careers or possibly even put them in danger. I rooted for them, laughed with them, cried with them. Their relationship was tumultuous, frustrating, passionate, full of heartache and joy, and was ultimately so beautiful and meaningful. I was glad that in the end, Evelyn wanted people to know her true self and who her one true love was. /END SPOILERS Words can’t do justice to how impressed I am with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s storytelling abilities. Once again, with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, she has blown me away. This is an emotional story with characters that leap off the pages. If you’re looking for a unique, fast-paced, compelling story with plenty of twists, I highly recommend The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
Date published: 2017-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE LOVE LOE I've read one other book of Taylor Jenkins Reid and I loved it just as much as this. Her writing is absolutely worthy of praise. She brings characters to life. Forms and moulds them into realistic characters that you want to befriend and even root for. Namely Evelyn Hugo, with the looks and figure of Marilyn Monroe with the mysterious life of Elizabeth Taylor, this is the character I imagined her to be. But her honest and in depth life was portrayed so beautifully, I couldn't help but cry by the end of the book. Evelyn is the most ambitious and tenacious character I have read lately. She's anything but perfect, and I love how Reid portrayed her. She is wholly vulnerable and strong all at the same time. I think most people reading this will either love or hate her. Maybe even a bit of both. And all the other characters? They hold no candle to what was really going on. There's something I can't talk about because it's a major spoiler but I'm sure anyone can agree the romance is passionate and wild and uninhibited. I loved every single bit of it. All these characters have no shame. They don't apologize for being exactly who they are, and I found it so new and refreshing. The only parts that bothered me was how she uses men. I know she would do anything and everything to rise to the top, but it also felt very wrong and unequal for her character to do that. But what do I know? It was set in earlier times. And for a character to be so modern thinking in an era of time that wasn't? Well it felt off. I loved reading about how fake everything in Hollywood really was. How everything was controlled by these characters to spin a story. Can't help but think that they do this in our own society every day. This was one emotional roller coaster that I couldn't stop reading! It also pulled me out of my 26 day reading slump! Grab this one if you're looking for a quick read that will have your heart being pulled (or twisted) into different directions. I'm such a fan of Taylor's writing now, and I need to read all her previous novels.
Date published: 2017-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling story by an amazing author! The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a standalone novel. I would probably categorize it as Women's Fiction. I really enjoyed Maybe In Another Life and One True Loves (also by Taylor Jenkins Reid). So for that reason The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was one of my most anticipated books of 2017. I enjoyed this book. There are no chapter numbers. But some of the chapters feature newspaper headlines and stories. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book and thought that it was a clever thing for the author to do. The story is really Evelyn's story. Evelyn Hugo is 79 years old. She is a famous actress and has been married 7 times. However, the narrator is 35 year old Monique. Evelyn invites Monique (who is an unknown journalist) to interview her. Monique works for Vivant magazine and lives in NYC. I was very surprised with the format of this story. I just assumed that Evelyn Hugo would be the narrator and that we would get her story from the beginning. However instead we have chapters in the present (where Evelyn is talking to Monique) from Monique's POV. But we also have Evelyn's story from the beginning, through all of her marriages. I was not sure if this method of storytelling would work for me. But Evelyn's story is very interesting. So even though we know certain things about her in advance (that she will become super famous, or that she will have 7 husbands and they will die/or she will divorce them)... it is still very captivating. I was not expecting the story to be told this way. I definitely prefer to read a story set in the present. But hardly any of the book is told in the present. It is Evelyn telling her story to Monique. What I really wanted to know right from the start was why Evelyn chose Monique. At a certain point in the book it became clear that Monique was upset with Evelyn (due to the author forewarning us). I was extremely anxious to find out what had happened. Usually I hate forewarning at the end of chapters. But I loved it in this book. There was an interesting reveal that I really should have figured out (there were clues). But I didn't overthink the book and I actually had no idea when it came. I love when that happens! The book actually brings up a lot of interesting issues. I would recommend going into the book blind or almost blind. I was very happy that I didn't know too much about the story before I started because I often find the book blurbs can give away too much and it can partially spoil the big reveals. I didn't think that I would enjoy this book as much as I did since I don't usually connect with books where much of the story takes place in the past. But Evelyn's story was fascinating. I would have liked to connect a bit more with Monique. If she is the narrator then I want to know more about her. In many ways it is really not her story at all. Overall this was a very compelling book. And the end is crazy! If you've enjoyed this author's previous books or even if you've just been curious about them... this is a must read. Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy of this book.
Date published: 2017-06-06

Read from the Book

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo NEW YORK TRIBUNE Evelyn Hugo to Auction Off Gowns BY PRIYA AMRIT MARCH 2, 2017 Film legend and ’60s It Girl Evelyn Hugo has just announced that she will auction off 12 of her most memorable gowns through Christie’s to raise money for breast cancer research. At the age of 79, Hugo has long been an icon of glamour and elegance. She is known for a personal style both sensual and restrained, and many of Hugo’s most famous looks are considered touchstones of the fashion and Hollywood archives. Those looking to own a piece of Hugo history will be intrigued not only by the gowns themselves but also by the context in which they were worn. Included in the sale will be the emerald-green Miranda La Conda that Hugo wore to the 1959 Academy Awards, the violet soufflé and organdy scoop-neck she donned at the premiere of Anna Karenina in 1962, and the navy-blue silk Michael Maddax that she was wearing in 1982 when she won her Oscar for All for Us. Hugo has weathered her share of Hollywood scandals, not the least of which being her seven marriages, including her decades-long relationship with film producer Harry Cameron. The two Hollywood insiders shared a daughter, Connor Cameron, who is no doubt the influence for the auction. Ms. Cameron passed away last year from breast cancer soon after turning 41. Born Evelyn Elena Herrera in 1938, the daughter of Cuban immigrants, Hugo grew up in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. By 1955, she had made her way to Hollywood, gone blond, and been rechristened Evelyn Hugo. Almost overnight, Hugo became a member of the Hollywood elite. She remained in the spotlight for more than three decades before retiring in the late ’80s and marrying financier Robert Jamison, older brother of three-time Oscar-winning actress Celia St. James. Now widowed from her seventh husband, Hugo resides in Manhattan. Preternaturally beautiful and a paragon of glamour and daring sexuality, Hugo has long been a source of fascination for moviegoers the world over. This auction is expected to raise upward of $2 million.