Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published: June 2017
Summary: Evelyn Hugo is Hollywood royalty whose career spanned 4 decades. She was known for her good looks, fearless performances, and her 7 husbands. She has been out of the spotlight for some time in her Upper East Side apartment, but she is ready to tell her story, the full story. She chooses an unlikely, mostly unknown reporter to share her story with, but Evelyn never does anything without great thought and this reporter, Monique, will come to learn just exactly why Evelyn selected her. Through their interviews, Evelyn opens up sharing unprecedented insight into her glamorous, but often painful life, discussing the details of her seven marriages and finally disclosing a forbidden love that changed her life.
Thoughts: I am a big Taylor Jenkins Reid fan, but it took me a long time to finally pick up her latest novel because it seemed like such a departure from her other contemporary reads. I wasn’t wrong. Evelyn Hugo is a whole new space for TJR, but her signature storytelling with complex characters and compelling plot was ever present. In some ways, it reminded me of One True Loves in that important decisions about your life are rarely ever straight forward and that time changes you and your perspective. This story allows you to spend time with Evelyn from ages 14 to 80, giving you the chance to see her complete evolution. Evelyn’s marriages and her true self for that matter, were rarely what it seemed as portrayed by the tabloids. Evelyn is a smart and ambitious woman who was willing to do almost anything to grow her fame, including leverage a marriage or two. There was a strong spotlight on the LGBTQ+ community with a tiny glimpse into the extra layer of struggle that people identifying in that community experienced in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. It was painful, even through literature, to see how it was unacceptable and sometimes illegal for them to be their true selves and live a life with the person/people they choose. Although fame certainly made life easier in a lot of ways, it also made it harder for someone to hide their love and secret life away. Every step had to be considered and premeditated in order to escape ruin. It was exhausting to read about, nevermind actually living it. This book had me laughing out loud, quickly turning pages, and eventually crying a bit. It felt like Evelyn Hugo could have been an actual person and made me wonder about stars from her era and if any of them may have lived a similar life. In short, TJR is a goddess who can do no wrong. This was another excellent book that will give you all the feels. Welcome to my auto-buy author list, TJR.