The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Hey guys!

Today I’m gonna be sharing my thoughts on The Seven Husbands by Taylor Jenkins Reid! I hope you all enjoy this review and feel free to discuss with me your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for checking out this review!

Let’s get started!

From Goodreads

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.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has become one of my top five books. I heard such great reviews on this book, and I knew that I had to check it out. I had never read a Taylor Jenkins Reid book before but let me say I’m now hooked on her writing and brought two more of her books. Once I started a few chapters, I was on the edge of my seat. 

“Never let anyone make you feel ordinary.”

– The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

Evelyn Hugo’s story was so compelling to read. Frantically, I read through all the pages wanting to find out all the secrets behind all of her seven husbands. As well as to answer the question: Who was her greatest love? Since Evelyn has lived most of her life in public, she has many secrets to hide. But she finally wants to reveal all her secrets to the public and recruits a somewhat inexperienced journalist Monique Grant. As soon as Monique was involved in Evelyn’s story, I had thousands of questions. Why would you hire her? What is Evelyn hiding from Monique?

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was passionate in bringing to light so many important topics.

Evelyn’s story was a way for her to reveal what all her husbands did, either good, bad, or in the middle. Ernie, who Evelyn used to escape from her living nightmare, and help her jump-start her career. Don, who was abusive to a point she didn’t know if she could divorce him. Harry, her best friend, who she loved so dearly. Max loved the idea of her but never truly her. Mick, who Evelyn used as a ploy to protect the ones she truly loved. Rex, a relationship that involved no love just business. Robert, a way for Evelyn to live the life she has always wanted.

Evelyn Hugo’s story was a way to bring to light how her husbands treated her horribly and were just there to use her because of her fame and power. And if she were to step out of line, the public would come calling her nasty names. 

“Heartbreak is a loss. Divorce is a piece of paper.”

– The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

It touches on the issue of women in the industry being treated as objects rather than for their acting. Men are judge based on their performance, intelligence, and depth to themselves. Whereas, women are judged on their looks and how attractive they are to males. We see how women of color couldn’t just be an actress, but rather people would look at them differently based on their race. To be seen as important, Evelyn herself had to transform to no longer make her seem like a Cuban girl. They had her change her name, dyed her hair, wore the emerald green silk dresses and jewelry, smiled pretty, and shut up about everything else.

Many times, we see how women have to tone down their personalities. To be seen as respectful and an obedient woman. If women are opinionated, confident, or passionate, they are told to shut up, to be obedient. Women are expected to stay insecure, men chipping away at their self-esteem so they could keep power and have some leeway over them.

During this era, we see how Evelyn is under fire if she divorces one of her husbands. The blame is thrown onto her, and her husbands come out with no dirt on their hands. Their careers aren’t damaged, and they go back to living their normal lives. But for Evelyn and many other women are dragged by the public and seen as a disgrace making it hard for them to return to their normal lives.

People don’t find it very sympathetic or endearing, a woman who puts herself first.

– The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

But this book isn’t about Evelyn’s seven husbands. But, rather, this book is about Evelyn’s story. It’s about the struggles she faced and all of her flaws. Rather than wanting to be seen as this perfect, untouchable icon, she wants to be seen as a human-like everyone else. Even though Evelyn’s life may always be perfect, but once you pull back all the layers, she is just like you and me. A human being.

I enjoyed having Monique in the story, and I feel like without her: the story would lose something. Evelyn wouldn’t be telling anyone her story to anyone. I liked when we had little interjections with what was going on in her life, which helped build-up to the final reveal at the end of Evelyn’s story. The ending had me shocked, and I was not expecting it at all.

Another small detail that I enjoyed was the new articles like “Hollywood Digest”, “Sub Rosa”, and “The New York Tribune,” which were reporting on Evelyn and other characters. It added more realness to the story allowing us to see how the public viewed Evelyn. It’s like today with social media reporting on all the drama happening, but instead, since this story takes place in the 50s-80s, we have newspaper articles instead.

This section will have some spoilers, so please be aware if you haven’t read this book yet!

“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.”

– The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

Evelyn and Celia’s relationship was heartbreaking to watch. Evelyn kept letting Celia down over and over, which would lead to Celia being so heartbroken. Celia kept saying the most hurtful things, and I wish that Celia would have tried to understand Evelyn’s sexuality more. At some points, the relationship felt very toxic, but at other times you could tell how much they loved one another. They loved each other so much, but could never be together in the public eye. This put such a strain on their relationship leading to many ups and downs.

“I’m bisexual. Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box.”

– The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid

If you are worried that there isn’t representation in this book, don’t worry cause there is! Our main character Evelyn is Cuban, and Bisexual. Celia and Henry are both gay. Monique is biradical. We also have an f/f relationship as well as an m/m relationship. Representation is always great to see so that people can see themselves in the books they read.

TW: domestic abuse, death/grief, homophobia/biphobia, racism, abortion & suicide

4 thoughts on “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Review

    • Thank you!! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! I actually just order Daisy Jones so I’m glad to here you enjoyed it! I’m like now hooked on Reid’s writing, I just got her other book Malibu Rising as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m so glad you enjoyed tshoeh!! It was one of my favourite reads of last year, and I enjoyed it so much for the reasons you said – especially how it showed how multifaceted the characters are, especially Evelyn who is as you said just human who makes mistakes. this was such a lovely review for a lovely book ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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