Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is just one of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s many books that has topped recent reading interest. Label volunteer, Sydney Tarrant, reviews her book, detailing its main themes and plot points, and exploring the joys of reading it. 

 

Evelyn Hugo once dominated the movie industry and now is ready for a tell-all story about her life in the industry. She specifically chooses Monique Grant, an unknown reporter, to write the book, for reasons unknown to Monique. She retells her life, from making her way to LA in the 1950s, and her decision to leave the business in the 1980s. She tells the story of each of her seven husbands but, most importantly, she reveals her one great love.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was one of my top reads of 2021, and the first (but definitely not the last) Taylor Jenkins Reid book I have read. Reid has a way of writing that is so addictive and ends up every time with the book being finished in one sitting. She writes in a way that is so different to any book I’ve read, and with such conviction that I believe the characters are real. I had to look up Evelyn Hugo to check she was fictional, and the same with Daisy Jones and the Six and Malibu Rising. If you see any book by Taylor Jenkins Reid, it should go to the top of your TBR pile immediately. Her writing is enchanting and leaves a lasting impact.

This isn’t the kind of book I would usually be drawn to, but it was recommended by a friend, and I am so glad I ended up reading it. Evelyn Hugo’s glamorous life leaves a lot to be desired and gives a raw outlook on what it might feel like to be a movie star in the 1950s, especially as a young, Cuban woman. I loved the tales of all her husbands and was hooked to see who she loved the most, when actually it is evident from the very beginning. It is a story about forbidden love, platonic love, friendship and heartbreak, and does an incredible job of making you feel every one of those emotions as if you lived it yourself. Evelyn Hugo is flawed and was a Cuban woman working in an industry that didn’t want her. She manipulated and she lied, yet she was not unlikeable – in fact, the opposite. The incredible storytelling of a great love story inside a trauma filled world leaves me in awe of her, and the links that the book makes between characters then and now are remarkable.

I was engrossed from the first page and wish I could read it again without knowing the ending. This book got me out of a reading slump and now I have every book that she writes on my TBR and pre-ordered. It is a truly incredible story that I think will be remembered for a long time in the literary industry.

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Label Culture Editor 2021-2022

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