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

I hate Evelyn, but I think I like her very much. I wish she had never existed, and yet I can’t help but admire her a great deal.


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 great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story nears its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

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My thoughts

*spoiler free*

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was a book club read. I wasn’t thrilled about this pick but kept an open mind. I typically do not read in this genre so it was interesting to take a step out of my comfort zone. Let’s cut straight to the case, did I like it? Not really. Something was missing from this story that I can’t place. There was drama, secrets, and seven husbands but I didn’t feel fully invested in the story. My biggest hesitation with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the popularity of the novel. Most times, I find the hype surrounding these novels is not there for me—this holds true for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an interesting historical romance that would make for a perfect poolside read. The story is told from two points of view, Monique, a journalist, and Evelyn Hugo, a famous Hollywood Star. I did not like Monique’s sections. I enjoyed Evelyn’s stories, she gave the gritty details of her life and didn’t paint herself to be a perfect person. As the story progressed I swayed from loving Evelyn to being annoyed as I felt like I was left wanting more. I appreciated the questionable decisions Evelyn made because she wasn’t a wonderful person, I am not sure if she was a good person. My biggest complaint is the many relationships, I wanted more time to focus on the one that really mattered, but I understand that it was a part of the story. While I didn’t like the novel, it was an interesting look into the complexity of human relationships and emotions.

Reid did a great job taking the reader to different time periods and detailing the struggling faced by women. Evenlyn’s story reminds us to spend time with those we love. Overall, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was an enjoyable novel that offered me a glimpse into what lies beyond fantasy.

Should You Read It?

If you are a reader of trendy historical romances, this is the book for you. Honestly, you can probably wait for the movie/show adaptation and be just fine.

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