The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Retired actress Evelyn Hugo has hired a young magazine writer to write her autobiography. As her story unfolds and she tells the secrets behind her seven marriages, the public view of her is challenged, culminating in a terrible secret that links her and Monique.
Queer, historical fiction
Aging 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 a 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.
So many people have been recommending this book, and it truly lives up to the hype. This was amazing and I don’t have any critiques. I didn’t even think I would be interested in a book about a Hollywood star, but I was very wrong.
The book has so many wonderful things to say about love. Evelyn has seven husbands but none of them are “the love of her life.” That title belongs to a woman, and their love story is incredibly sweet and sad.
No less important is the love between Evelyn and her best friend Harry, a gay man who sticks by her side through the turmoils of her life. Both of these relationships are equally central to the book, and both are viscerally emotional.
The public sees celebrities as saints or demons, but never as people, who are complicated and make terrible mistakes. Celebrities are idolized but also dehumanized, and this book captures the isolating feeling of that.
This is one of my favorite books now and I will definitely be reading it again. Believe the hype.