The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a book I’ve had on my mental TBR for a long time. I’ve not owned the Kindle version and up until a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t have the physical copy either. However, it was high on my list as I’d heard nothing but great things about it with one of my friends saying it was their favourite book of all time. Is it now also mine?
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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo focuses, as you’d think, on the story of Evelyn Hugo. Hugo is arguably the most famous film star of all time and she has specifically requested that Monique Grant be the one to interview her for an upcoming charity event where she is going to sell some of her most famous dresses.
However, when Monique turns up, Evelyn Hugo tells her she wants her to do a piece on her whole life story and write her autobiography not under the name of the magazine she works for but under her own name. Monique agrees and so begins the telling of one of the greatest fictional stories in fictional cinema history.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid plot – 4.5/5
There are very few books that tell a book as sweeping as The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Evelyn Hugo starts her life out in her late teens and works for many decades. The story is told from the point of view of Hugo herself including the ups, the downs, the imperfections and her brutal and honest truth about the choices she’s made.
Alongside Hugo’s incredible story which includes a secret many never knew about her, her seven marriages the ups and downs of her career is a tandem story of Monique herself where we briefly get to experience her life outside of the interview. This isn’t so interesting but Evelyn Hugo and Monique’s stories do intertwine right at the end. It’s a brilliantly written story that will make you feel complete.
There are themes of inclusion, LGBT+ rights and struggles and throughout this book. They’re dealt with in a very mature and understandable way – celebrities simply couldn’t be anything other than straight from the 50s through to the 80s and this is something Hugo suffered with.
If you get to the end of this book and feel like it hasn’t been structured incredibly well, written very well and finished nicely then I’d love to know how you think it could have been done better because I think it was brilliant.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo characters – 5/5
I fell in love with almost every character introduced in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. As I said in my Malibu Rising review, Taylor Jenkins Reid has an incredible way of writing very deep and believable characters.
Despite the fact so many different people are introduced throughout this book including her seven husbands, there are quite a few whom you’ll end up absolutely adoring. They all have deep personalities and are either loveable or detestable.
Hugo herself is a fascinating character, starting off fairly naive and working her way up to be proud, strong and knowing what she wants. She states multiple times during the interview that she has very few regrets in life because they brought her to where she is today. However, she is also willing to admit her faults and where she went wrong. She’s a fascinating woman who I think many people would have liked to have met in real life. She comes across as wise and intelligent.
There are other characters throughout this book who you can’t help but love too. Without ruining the plot, they are kind, loyal and resilient. They are also honest with Hugo and make sure that she’s never really led too far away and always has someone there for her.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid overall rating – 5/5
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of the best books I’ve read this year. The story has everything you could wish for including a sweeping plot, maturity and heart. The characters are admirable, and lovable and add layers to the plot. In an impressive feat, Taylor Jenkins Reid manages to tell the incredible life of a fascinating human being without writing a 600+ page book. And this is all tied up with a wonderful bow of a twist right at the end. Add The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo to your TBR if it isn’t already. If it’s already on there, move it right to the top. It’s that damn good.