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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

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Member Reviews

You know what? I think my desire to put an ice pick to my heart via novels may actually be over, thanks to Taylor Jenkins Reid. Her work in crafting the story of Evelyn Hugo put the final and deadly puncture wound to my heart and I think I'm good now. I'm officially FULL of all the emotions. ALL.OF.THE.EMOTIONS.



I thought I was prepared for this novel.

I wasn't.



The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo lulled me into a safe and pleasurable reading zone and I was enjoying the characters and the concept and then at some point I was blinking back tears and it felt like my heart had expanded up into my throat and into my entire torso and I got to the end of the book and I just...gahhhhh...I felt so many things.



Evelyn Hugo was a complex character with such a self awareness, at the end of the novel, that I had a ton of admiration and sorrow for all that she lived with/through/for. Her story made me once again realize how fortunate I am to have what I have and live in the time that I do; it also made me remember how important it is to live MY life on my terms, and the terms of my family. Ultimately, it made me think and feel and I think that may be the highest praise I have to offer (other than my dad would read this and love it and then berate me for letting him read another novel that makes him FEEL the things he'd feel).



I realize that I haven't really told you the how or why behind my emotional reaction to this novel, but I'll let the synopsis and your own reading determine that. Just take my word for it--this novel was on the best of 2017 lists for a reason--you should read it.
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TJR is probably one of my favorite authors now. Ever since reading ONE TRUE LOVES last year, I’ve been loving her. After reading EVELYN HUGO, I’m even more in love with her. I need to read more of her books! This book covers subject matter that I don’t usually *love* reading about because it feels so unrealistic and stereotypical. However, I think TJR succeeded in writing a book that was both extremely interesting and also heartwarming. Definitely pick this book up in 2018! So glad I was able to close out the year reading this. 5/5 stars.
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A journalist is given the task of interviewing secretive movie star Evelyn Hugo, but she is surprised to discover that Evelyn intends for her to write her biography. There are more surprises in store, as Evelyn's life story reveals there is more to connect them than meets the eye.
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Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my favorite authors, but this story didn't immediately appeal to me. Old Hollywood is nice and all, but I wasn't really excited to dig into this story. But I won a copy on Goodreads (thank you) and a month or so after getting the ARC, on weekend where lots of snow was predicted, I figured I would give it a try. 

The story is mainly about Evelyn Hugo, but also about Monique, the writer Evelyn wants to publish her memoirs. At first I thought I would want to know more about Monique, but I liked that the story focused on Evelyn. This story is really about female empowerment and how Evelyn, who had no power at a time when women were powerless, tried to create the life she always wanted. Evelyn says it and Monique says it, and Evelyn is a complicated character who makes tough decisions and isn't very easy to like. A true female antihero is hard but Taylor Jenkins Reid did a great job here. 

It's not always an easy story to read and there were tears, but it's absolutely worth picking up. There are really powerful takes on gender, power, relationships, money, and probably lots of other things that I missed.
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Couldn’t get enough of this book! I was completely intrigued by Evelyn Hugo’s story and how each of her seven husbands affected her life. Fabulous.
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What a delightful book! I have recently found that I love learning about the Golden Age of Hollywood and while this book isn't about real people, the time period is historically accurate. Evelyn Hugo is an aged actress and has never told her story (and everyone wants to know it), so she sets out to tell her whole story to an up-and-coming writer. There are twists and turns, but nothing that isn't realistic. I was totally hooked!
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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo  is my  first book by  this  author and   Hooked !! this book is unforgettable !!!
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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is much more substantive than I imagined.

That statement can go to the two women protagonists as well. Evelyn is a fighter from the word go, but Jenkins Reid takes her deeper, making her fight fights that women in the 50’s didn’t even realize they could fight. She’s a multifaceted character with so much ‘moxie,’ taking chances in her career, giving it all up at the right moment for the right reasons. I cannot (well, I guess I could, but I won’t) say more — I don’t want to spoil Evelyn’s secrets for you. But I can say that Evelyn Hugo is one of the bravest fictional women I’ve read in a long time.

That bravery is passed on through osmosis and storytelling to Monique, who takes Evelyn’s life and uses it as a how-to manual when it comes to her own life and career.

Although Monique’s whole understanding of life takes a hit at the end (I think I can say that without giving it away — because, whatever you take from that statement, I can tell you you’re wrong. The connection between the two women will surprise you), she perseveres  and goes on, deciding that taking chances to get what you want is better than settling and playing it safe.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was so much more than I expected. I loved it, and it made me think a bit about women who came before. I’m proud of the crop of today’s Hollywood elite ladies and their ability to speak out and show my girls that they don’t have to take it (whatever it is at the time) just because they’re female. But The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo made me think of all the women who came before, who had to take abuse, adultery, and plain old misogyny because of their gender — and to really consider the women who just wouldn’t take it.

But please don’t get the wrong idea. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a fun read. Lots of glamour and sexiness. But it’s also filled with feminism and strong women working hard to make it in a very male world.

I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. It’s a wonderful mix of fun and substance —  chick lit with balls.
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I will admit I was initially torn over reading this book. The subject matter didn't interest me when it first was published. However, I knew Taylor Jenkins Reid was a skilled writer and figured she could make any topic interesting. Then the rave reviews kept coming in and I decided to add it to my TBR. I finally picked it up this weekend and read over 380 pages in two days! Yes, it was that hard to put down. And I've been recommending it ever since.

Despite Evelyn's rise to fame, Taylor makes her easily relatable and I found myself caring about her every step of the way. I would have liked more of a balance between featuring Evelyn and Monique, but that would probably add an additional 100 pages (which I wouldn't have minded one bit). The ending felt a bit rushed, but I liked how everything turned out. And Taylor kept me guessing the entire time as to what Evelyn's reason for hiring Monique would be. I really was surprised by the revelation!

I definitely became wrapped up in Evelyn's story and could visualize her life in Hollywood that started in the 1950's. Everything sounded really glamorous and I felt like her life was being projected on a screen in front of me. While Monique was a sympathetic character, I really wish there were more to her story or that it could have been taken even farther after she finished hearing Evelyn's. 

Overall, a fantastic novel that will have readers thinking and discussing long after the last page is turned. 

Since this is about movies, of course I would cast a movie version in my head. It was hard to come up with a lot of choices, since the story spans over a long period of time. For your consideration (although I'd love to hear your ideas too):
Evelyn (1950s/60s): Julia Goldani Telles
Evelyn (1970s/80s): Natalie Zea 
Evelyn (2017): Julie Christie
Monique: Ruth Negga
Harry (1950s/60s): Armie Hammer
Rex: Alexander Skarsgård
Celia (1950s/60s): Ellie Bamber
Celia (1970s/80s): Christina Hendricks
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I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in 2 days. That should give you an indication of how good it is! It's filled with intrigue, romance, fame, and passion - all the makings of a story with star power, plus a little something extra. Highly, highly recommended.
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Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented author and also an ambitious one. For her fifth and newest book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, the creative writer behind contemporary classics like Maybe in Another Life and One True Loves tries an all new style of storytelling and it works spectacularly. This book is unlike any of her previous works, but it may very well be her best novel yet. A sprawling, layered, intricate look at a very complicated and charismatic woman, Evelyn Hugo and its eponymous main character are both memorable and utterly unique.

With the charisma and beauty of an old Hollywood starlet but the cunning and shrewdness of a Fortune 500 CEO, Evelyn Hugo is the kind of character that refuses to yield the spotlight. She is the star even before she makes it in the movie business. Evelyn is perpetually the epicenter of the story; she is the thread the ties the main plot of her many husbands with that of the younger journalist Monique. Obviously partially inspired by the live and loves of Elizabeth Taylor, with perhaps just a splash of Marilyn's aesthetic, her life is compelling and utterly readable from the first chapter. Her voice and presence are strong and immediately distinct; this is a woman you remember. This is a woman that absolutely refuses to be forgotten or to forgo her ambitions. She may not be a "nice" person but she is driven, smart, and a survivor.

Unwinding and revealing the real person behind the calculated Evelyn persona is a task that takes care and time, both of which Reid provides. There's more to Evelyn's convoluted story than the tabloid fodder produced from her various loves and losses; Reid keenly understands the relationship between star and fans -- which Evelyn also understands and uses to her professional advantage, even if it costs her a personal loss. She is a multifaceted person; full of both virtues and vices. She comes across as a very real, very present person. Monique, her counterpart and foil, provides some modern balance and also facilitates the novel's plot framework. Her tell-all interviews with the reclusive actress directly propel the plot.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an impressive change of pace for an established author. It's entertaining and original; it begs for a reread once the final page has been finished. For an author that continually finds new ways to explore love and emotion, this is her most creative novel yet. Highly recommended.
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My Review: 4.5 stars

The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo is so much more than the title suggests. I was expecting a light, romantic romp through this woman’s several husbands and was taken off guard by the wisdom and thoughtful intelligence this woman represented. Was this unexpected and reflective plot what bumped this rating up, perhaps? Or perhaps not, and I just really enjoyed the story.

Evelyn is a character to admire. She has every reason to want to tell her story to Monique, another primary character, as her life has been a lie in the public eye. As she unleashes her life story, we learn about why she had each of her seven marriages, what she did to succeed, why she ran away from her humble beginnings and how a woman’s body can be so powerful. Monique has two very important questions at the start of her interview that linger unanswered until the end of the novel. (Seven husbands. Which one did she love best? and Why did she choose me to tell her story?) Getting the answers to these questions keeps the reader completely engaged.

This is the type of book in which saying much of anything about the plot could give the story away. I’ll tell you this though, the book offers nuggets of knowledge about friendship, honesty, abuse, love versus being in love, parenting, sexuality, bi-sexuality, marriage, the right to die in dignity, lies you can live with and those you can’t, intimacy and forgiveness.

This is a great example of rich contemporary and women’s fiction. Well done Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Quotes I liked:

I’ve spent a very long time learning how to spin the truth. It’s hard to undo that wiring.” 

-“What’s that saying? Behind every gorgeous woman, there’s a man sick of screwing her? Well, it works both ways. No one mentions that part.”

-“You do not know how fast you have been running, how hard you have been working, how truly exhausted you are, until somewhat stands behind you and says, “It’s OK, you can fall down now. I’ll catch you.”

-“I can’t speak for all people who have been hit by someone they love, but what I can tell you is that forgiveness is different from absolution.”
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I am a huge fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid, so each time I see a new book from her I automatically add it to my TBR. When I heard about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I couldn't wait to read it! While this book isn't really what I would consider a romance (my preferred genre!) I knew I had to give it a chance just because Taylor wrote it. I have to say that I was drawn in right away and didn't want to put it down! Taylor's writing style is one that captivates the reader, and this book was no exception. 

No one is more stunned than Monique Grant when aging starlet Evelyn Hugo selects her to finally share her story. Wanting to jump start her career, Monique knows that this is the perfect opportunity and decides not to question why she was chosen. But as Monique gets to know Evelyn and her story, she quickly finds out that she and Evelyn have a connection that she never could have expected.

I found these characters fascinating. I was so intrigued with Evelyn and her husbands just from the title, but the more we got to know Evelyn the more I wanted! Evelyn was not everything that you first though she was, but beneath the surface she was someone who would do whatever it took to make it where she wanted. Her decisions and life story were so much more than what showed on the surface, and as she revealed more and more, I found myself unable to predict what would happen next. I loved seeing things unfold as we learned more right along with Monique.

Overall, this book wasn't at all what I expected and yet it was fantastic. Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of the most talented writers that I have ever read, and with each new book I read from her I am that much more impressed by her. She just seems to get better and better, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was really interesting. I recommend going into this story blind and just experiencing it as I did because I think if you try to find out what more that it wouldn't be quite the same experience. Taylor Jenkins Reid is an auto-buy for me, and I can't recommend her books enough.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**
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Monique Grant's life is practically in shambles when Hollywood Starlet, Evelyn Hugo, requests that Monique be the one that interviews her for an article.  Monique and her husband have recently separated and her career has stalled.   She is thrilled for the opportunity to interview an icon, but she doesn't understand why Evelyn Hugo would choose her.   She soon realizes that Evelyn Hugo doesn't just want Monique to do an interview - she wants Monique to write a tell-all book.  Evelyn Hugo is giving her story to Monique.  As the days unfold Evelyn reveals her deepest secrets.  From her early days married to an abusive Oscar winner, to her secret love affair with a costar that spanned decades.  And her best friend, Harry Cameron, has been there for Evelyn through it all.  Monique hangs on to her every word.  Not because it is just Evelyn Hugo, but because her story is a fascinating one.  But she still doesn't know why Evelyn chose her to tell her story.   Evelyn has one more secret to reveal - the reason why she chose Monique to tell her story.  That one secret will change Monique's life forever.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was an absolutely stunning novel.  Taylor Jenkins Reid captures the glamour of old Hollywood in a manner that truly transports the reader to a different time and place.  Evelyn Hugo was the kind of character that commanded the full attention of anyone she encountered - and that included the reader.  Her character had elements of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, she was that kind of stratospheric star.    I was so captivated by Evelyn's story that it was hard for me to put the book down. I couldn't wait to see what she would do next -  I thought that she was such an interesting character who had conflicting motivations.  I found my heart breaking for her more than once as her world crumbled around her on multiple occasions.   Monique was more of a down-to-earth character - one who was struggling to find success in her career and her own relationships.  Once the "big secret" was revealed she had her own conflicting emotions to deal with - especially in regards to her relationship with Evelyn.  In the end Evelyn controlled the story, right up to the very end.  -CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS -

Bottom line - The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has been getting a lot of buzz this summer and now I understand why all the buzz.  The characters will capture your attention on page one and not let go until long after you finish the last page.

Details: 
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
On Facebook
Pages:400
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 6/13/2017
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The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo
By
Taylor Jenkins Reid




What it's all about...

For some unknown reason former movie star Evelyn Hugo has decided that a relatively unknown journalist should write her life story.  That would be Monique.  Evelyn Hugo...the beautiful sexy glam movie star who married seven men.  Evelyn had a reason for marrying each husband...not all of the reasons had to do with love.  Also there is a secret that Evelyn has never shared with anyone...this is the secret she wants to share with Monique.  So...the premise behind the book is to allow Evelyn to tell her own true story.  There is another reason why she wants Monique to write it.  

Why I wanted to read it...

This book sounded unique.  To me...it read almost as though it was a memoir.  I am not a fan of memoirs but this book made me appreciate a fictional memoir.  The book was written in a husband by husband way that was really interesting.  I mean...I think that those were the days when women...even huge movie stars like Evelyn...were defined by the men they were with.  Evelyn made some great choices.  Evelyn also made some terrible choices.  

What made me truly enjoy this book...

I think the fact that this book was about "old" Hollywood and old movies and women's roles in those days was what made this book really good.  Evelyn was a different kind of woman for those days and the idea that she just kept marrying men was...well...kind of weirdly fascinating.  And then her secret...well...that was quite a secret! 

Why you should read it, too...

Readers who love glamorous tales of old...should get quite a thrill out of this one!  I loved it!
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Another excellent novel about love, loss, and second chances from Reid.
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