THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO by Taylor Jenkins Reid is the perfect summer read. From the charming characters to its intriguing hook, the novel is a delightful, intelligent story of two women coming to terms with the choices they’ve made to get what they want. It’s engaging and light enough to throw into your beach bag, but also smart and fast-paced. A delicious combo. I could not put this book down, and I’m already ready for the movie.
Evelyn Hugo herself is a mysterious figure. A classic film star who disappeared from public life years ago, Evelyn has been a recluse for decades. There’s been tabloid coverage and countless movies, but no one knows her real story. That is until Evelyn summons a young journalist to listen and report the truth. Monique is confused why she was chosen as the journalist but is going to milk this story for all it’s worth. After all, a career-making move like this only comes once in a lifetime.
This book has a fun pop culture angle; Evelyn’s story reminded me of how the tabloids obsessively follow Taylor Swift. My bosses immediately thought of Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth. That’s what makes this book so fun. Evelyn is the type of star that any generation can relate to.
As Monique listens to Evelyn’s story, it becomes very clear why Evelyn has remained secretive for so long. The price she paid for stardom wasn’t cheap. A story of pain, longing, secrets, and heartbreak lies in her wake, and Monique soon finds herself, like so many before her, enamored by the aging actress.
Managing seven husbands in one book may seem excessive, but Taylor Jenkins Reid does a fantastic job of keeping each marriage fresh, relevant, and entertaining. Every husband is anchored by one thing—Evelyn Hugo. Reid is juggling many elements with her story, and as the novel progresses, readers soon realize that Reid has masterly crafted two overarching, lingering questions at the heart of it all: Who was the one true love of Evelyn’s life, and Why is Monique here?
I guarantee two things will happen when you finish this book. First, you’re going to google Evelyn Hugo. Two, you’re going be fighting with your book club over who will be cast to play her.