Buddy Review | The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is known for emotional books and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was definitely an emotional rollercoaster ride! This book was a lot different than either of us expected. Keep reading to find out what we thought about this book!

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 is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, 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 mesmerizing 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 costs—to face the truth.

Cover

Candyce Even though you don’t see the woman’s complete face, I’m never really a fan of these types of covers. After reading the story, I honestly think it fits well. Especially the green dress.

Isabelle This cover is okay in my opinion, but it’s not something I would’ve ever picked up. I like that you can’t see the person’s face on the cover and after reading the book the model definitely fits the story.

“Never let anyone make you feel ordinary.”

Plot

Candyce I read One True Loves by this author quite awhile ago, so I was kind of expecting more of a romance based book. In a way that’s the case, but this book is so much more! I was sucked in from the start in all honesty. One day I started before work and was actually really disappointed I had to stop and get off the train, haha.

I love how this story is told. A lot of chapters start with a few newspaper articles. These were actually really interesting and fit the story well. Each part of the book focuses on one of the seven husbands. When Monique is invited by Evelyn to write her biography, I was kind of wondering why. I started forgetting about that as she talks about all the husbands.

In some cases a biography can be boring, but that’s not the case. Evelyn lived such an interesting life and it actually kind of felt like I as watching a movie as I was reading. Monique doesn’t play a really big part in this book until the end and that kept me asking why.

Taylor did such a good job painting this character’s life and keeping us wondering why Monique was involved. The ending didn’t disappoint at all!! I was shocked with the twist near the end. I did not see that coming and I had tears streaming down my cheeks. I will warn you now, have tissues ready!

Isabelle I was not expecting to like to book at all if I’m being honest haha. Everyone was talking about it last year and when I came across it on Storytel I decided to just pick it up and see what the fuss was about. It took me a couple of pages to get into the story but when I finally had time to actually read more than 3 pages at a time, I flew through the whole thing! Especially from about a third in the story it become unputdownable! I was so addicted and did not want to stop reading.

It was such an interesting type of story. I liked that it was told as a biography to a journalist. Evelyn’s biography chapters are kinda told to you and I felt like Evelyn was telling her story to me personally. It was really nice to read the story like that. I also enjoyed the little newspaper clippings in between the chapters. It gave a little extra to the story.

You read about almost all of Evelyn’s life and its written in a way that’s somehow so compelling. I liked the peek we got into Hollywood and all the sacrifices people make to became famous and to stay famous. That whole biography part really kept me going but we also got a little mystery. Monique wasn’t picked random and you want to know what thats all about. I almost forgot about this storyline when it got mentioned in a way that got me so curious once again!

The ending of the book did NOT disappoint and I had to CRY. I really really liked this story and loved the open-ish ending. There was a plot twist I did not see coming and I love when that happens. All in all this was such a wonderful book and it deserves allll the hype it got.

“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.”

Characters

Candyce We’ll be sitting here for awhile if I were to talk about ALL seven husbands, so I’m going to leave most of them out. All I can really say is that in a lot of cases, Evelyn didn’t marry nice men. A lot treated her in a way no woman should be treated. That was actually hard to read at times!

Evelyn is basically who this story is about. In the beginning I didn’t care for her, because she seemed really arrogant. In the beginning and many times in this story, all she thinks about is herself. After getting into the story, at times I started understanding her decisions more. I never felt like she was lying or hiding details that could make her look bad. Even though she’s a famous movie star, she was relatable in the sense that she just wanted to be loved!

Monique is considered the main character of the story, but her actual reason for being so important really isn’t revealed in the end. Seeing how the story is mostly Evelyn’s history, we get little glimpses of Monique every once in awhile. I liked her and it was clear she’s trying to find her way in life. I think listening to Eveluyn’s story made her learn more about herself and what she wants in her own life.

The only husband I really liked was Harrie. He’s sweet and will do anything for Evelyn. She helps keep his secrets and the other way around. Harrie is Evelyn’s only stable factor during her adult life. I think he gave up a lot for Evelyn and did this because he cared so much. I really wish we knew more about him!

Isabelle There are quite some characters in this story but only a couple I want to talk about it. Of course we have Evelyn Hugo, our main character and the most important character in this whole story. She is such a complex character and I loved reading about her. Throughout the story you get to know her quite well as she’s completely honest about all that happened and why she did the things she did. I thought she was quite relatable even though I’m a far cry from a famous Hollywood actress.

Monique is our other main character. You get to know her a lot less, as we only read about her in between the ‘biography’ chapters. She is a likable character and I was surprised that she showed growth during this story. I was not expecting to see that at all, but we certainly did!

Out of all the husbands I think I liked Harrie best! He was such a wonderful character and I really felt for him. It was wonderful to read about Evelyn and Harrie’s friendship and I could read another book about him. Evelyn’s friend Celia makes an appearance throughout most of the story as well. She was really interesting to read about and I did like the growth she showed towards the ending.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has us really excited for Taylor’s next book. We both hope to read Daisy Jones & the Six in April, so keep an eye out for our review!

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