Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Bookish Thoughts: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo


Ageing and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life.

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 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.



Oh my... The amount of hype that surrounded this book when it was released was something else... And it's not often that a book lives up to the hype but The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one that absolutely does!

The book had me spellbound from beginning to end. 
It wasn't one I binged in a single sitting. No... I read it over the course of a week - husband to husband - for it was one that needed to be savoured and slowly digested, piece by piece.
Seven months later, the characters and story still live rent-free in my head. 
(Yes, it's taken me that long to write up my thoughts, thankfully I have notes.)

What struck me most about it all was that Evelyn was not a likeable person but she was utterly fascinating. Her life story is painfully realistic but also over the top in an 'only in Hollywood' kind of way. I marvelled at her, I ranted at her, I cried for her and I cried with her... When I finished the final page I had no idea what to feel about her beyond the woman was indisputably a legend.
But she wasn't real! None of the characters are real! But they felt real. 
The entire story felt like it could be a Hollywood biography from the golden years... Like I could google their names and watch their movies and flick through a picture book of photos from their public moments. I think it hurts that I can't! Like when I read Daisy Jones and The Six and couldn't listen to the album Aurora... But I'm drifting off topic. 

The writing was brilliant. The story was wonderful. The ending was shocking and surprising and I bawled my eyes out more times than I can count. 
It's definitely a book I won't forget.
I loved it.
 

8 comments:

  1. I know this is not my thing, but I am glad the book lived up to the hype for you. Reading a hyped book can be a high or a low. Happy this was a win.

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  2. I'm so glad you loved it! It remains one of my favorites by TJR. Evelyn wasn't always likable but she was always a survivor. And always willing to do what it took for her and those she loved. I admired that about her.

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  3. Sounds like you really enjoyed this one.

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  4. I have The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo on my TBR. Now I can't wait to get to it!

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  5. Why did I not know this was written by Taylor Jenkins Reid??? lol

    I'm curious but the hype scares me (although I liked Daisy Jones) and I couldn't finish Malibu Rising this past week.

    I'm glad you found a book you loved! And blogged!! lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  6. "husband to husband" ha ha that made me smile for some reason. :)

    Seriously though- glad this was good! TJR gets a lot of hype and I liked her Maybe In Another Life- and Daisy Jones appeals to me as well- I really need to read more of her stuff. :)

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  7. This one is still on my TBR and even bought a physical copy already too. But haven't gotten to it yet. Hope to get to it during the Christmas holidays.

    Have a good weekend!

    Elza Reads

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  8. Nice review. I hadn't heard of this book, but now I'm curious.

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