Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

When ageing Hollywood superstar Evelyn Hugo offers little-known Vivant magazine reporter Monique Grant her one and only interview about her glamorous yet controversial life, no one can quite believe it, less Monique herself. After all, her life isn’t the easiest, she’s struggling in her working life and her marriage is breaking down. Accepting the job thinking things will finally go her way, Monique meets with Evelyn and learns more about her life, her career spanning from the 1950s and her numerous marriages. She soon discovers the truth behind the make-up, Evelyn’s true love and the shocking secret that’s been kept secret from the world for decades.

Written by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a compelling and engaging story about love, ambition and celebrity. As the story progresses, it delves into Evelyn’s past, from her humble beginnings to her status as a Hollywood legend, and focuses on the truth behind each of her marriages and subsequent divorces. As she discusses her life with Monique the reader soon learns that Evelyn has been hiding some weighty secrets, but thanks to the brilliant characterisation by Jenkins Reid, you can’t help but feel sorry for the actress, despite her obvious imperfections. Her tales of past loves and regrets are interwoven with snippets from Monique’s own life; her work life, her family’s past and dealing with the breakdown of her own marriage; and the two stories sit cleverly side by side. Both characters are flawed, but it’s impossible not to champion them both – Evelyn as she tries to make her way in Hollywood and Monique as she tries to map out a successful career in journalism.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a thought-provoking tale about the truth behind the Hollywood smile and price of fame – what some people will do to get to the top and the sacrifices they have to make in order to stay there. It’s a heartbreaking and beautifully written story about love, loss and glamour, with a neat and poignant twist at the end. The characters are all fleshed out well and considering there are so many, given Evelyn’s many marriages, they all have different personalities and traits. Not your typical “chick lit” read, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is also a comment on society and the struggles people have had to face in history.

A vivid look into the life of a Hollywood starlet, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a riveting tale full of love and heartache and with strong women at the very heart of it, it will grip you until the very end.

Five stars




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