Cover Image: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

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Member Reviews

A fun a frothy fictionalized mashup of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.Perfect for the beach!
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A brilliant story of an aging actress that  gives us an uplifting feeling that if you are loved enough you can do anything!
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I would like to actually give this a 3.5 stars.  Emma has vanished and hasn't been seen for 3 years.  Her sister is also missing, presumed dead, but she insits her sister is alive and they must find her.  There is mystery and intrigue as you try to figure out the moving parts of this...is Emma telling the truth? What really happened?  The ending caught me by surprise and brought all the pieces together.  The only reason it got less than a 4 was that parts of it went on too long and were repetitive.  Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an e-arc of this title in exchange for my honest review.
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Wow.  This book is just amazing.  When legendary actress Evelyn Hugo asks unknown magazine writer Monique to write her life story, Monique knows something is up.  Why her?  Why now?  However, it is an opportunity that Monique can't pass up and learning Evelyn's story changes Monique's life.  Hollywood, romance, intrigue, and mystery abound in this well-told fascinating story!  I highly recommend it!
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All I can say is a HUGE thank you to Taylor Jenkins Reid for this book! The bar was raised with this one.  So many emotions and layers that I cried like a baby for the last couple of chapters. 

I fell in love with the cover and now I fell in love with the words. This is one I will forever wish I could read over and over as if it was the first time. Not enough stars to do this one justice!
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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was so different than the others I have read, but I love how Reid still snuck in those intricate twists that keep you so invested. The plot follows the famous icon Evelyn Hugo and the writer she's chosen to pen her biography. Monique can hardly believe she's been chosen to interview and write the famous actresses' life story, but then she realizes the truth behind why she was chosen and it alters her life it a spellbinding tale. It was an interesting and unique story, and it will definitely make you think a little harder about celebrities and the lives they portray to the public.
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I just finished this book and am compelled to write my review immediately because I don't want to forget how this book left me feeling. However, I have no idea how to put it into words.  And I think that right there is a true sign of a mesmerizing and well-written book.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo will is quite simply a page turner.  Although it's a fictional depiction of a movie stars life, it gives those who are intrigued with Hollywood a voyeuristic and, dare I say it, controversial view on the inner workings of what happens behind the cameras.  The themes represented throughout seem like they could be written about a true life Hollywood siren, which is a huge reason why this book is easy to get lost in.

The fact that I was taken on many emotional rides throughout the course of reading this book - enchantment, surprised, happy, confused, angry, understanding (to name a few) - makes it easy to proclaim this as this summer's front-runner for must-read book of 2017.
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Taylor Jenkins Reid is a pretty familiar name to fans of women's fiction, with popular novels like One True Loves and Maybe in Another Life. While I've heard great things about the previously mentioned novels, I'd never picked up any by Jenkins Reid until The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I remember first hearing about the novel before the cover was even released, but wasn't actually sure what the story was about until I started reading. And let's just say, I'm so glad I read it.

Brief synopsis: When glamorous actress Evelyn Hugo decides to finally tell-all about her glamorous and scandalous life at 79 years old, she chooses Monique Grant, a journalist that's virtually unknown. No one's more shocked than Monique - why would the Evelyn Hugo only want to work with Monique? And why now? The novel moves chronologically through Evelyn's seven husbands, while being gently broken up by snippets of the present-day in Monique's perspective. But is this story even about Evelyn's seven husbands at all?

This novel has perfect amounts of scandal, seduction, and mystery. By the end, I was sobbing, and honestly, I don't know why I've never read Taylor Jenkins Reid before, but I will without a doubt, be reading more from her.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has left me with a serious book hangover. I became so invested in this story. It's about love and hate, friendship and family, in unexpected places. And I hate to say that the novel is political, but it's got such a deeper meaning than learning about the excessive husbands of an old-time movie star.

I truly couldn't get enough of this novel, and I want to tell you so much more, but of course - I don't want to ruin anything.

Just know, if you read this book, you will become deeply enthralled with Evelyn and Monique, and everyone in between. Beautifully written, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo will shock you, then break your heart. If you're looking for the perfect summer read that's more than just fluff, this is the one for you.
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Jenkins Reid amazes me with her stories; in the past typically I’ve gone into her books expecting one thing and then being left in awe after finishing her book. This time around however I did struggle with this book, it took me a while to complete, but that’s not to say that it didn’t leave a lasting impression with me afterwards. I was left reeling with Evelyn Hugo’s life and everything she had to go through to reach that end point. Evelyn Hugo was a hard person for me personally to like, she did a lot of unimaginable things, but she was one heck of a person to withstand everything that was thrown her way during her attempt to the top; tragedies, people talking crap about her, abuse and people trying to trample over her name. Like I said Evelyn was a woman that I had a difficult time relating to but I could understand all the things that she did.

I was super curious to see how Jenkins Reid would relate both Monique and Evelyn’s stories together. As it seemed completely out of the blue that Evelyn plucked Monique to write her story and you could say I was super surprised when everything was unravelled, so I wasn’t expecting that connection to be there at all (view spoiler). But I enjoyed Monique’s time with Evelyn, and how we were given Evelyn’s story from the very beginning, how we got to experience her ups and downs in her big career and to the very end. In many ways The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was a very bittersweet story, and one that will have me thinking about it for a long time afterwards. I really liked the different take that Jenkins Reid gave us in this book, the depths and emotions that she explores with her characters was beautifully done and once again her writing was flawless. I’m really glad that I ended up giving this book a go, although it wasn’t one of my favourites by Jenkins Reid it is definitely one of her most memorable.
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I honestly don't know even where to begin with this book.  So let's start at the beginning.  Monique Grant is towards the bottom of the rung as a journalist.  She's talented but knows she needs to work her way up and prove herself.  Evelyn Hugo, a Hollywood icon, requests her specifically to come write a piece based on dresses being donated to charity.  Monique is floored and then STUNNED to find that Evelyn wants her to write her biography exclusively.   

Thus begins her journey into Evelyn's life - her rise to stardom, her seven marriages, and all the ins and outs of her life - every lie, deception, love, pain and heartache.  She finds Evelyn to be ruthless, unapologetic and selfish... and yet has great respect for her candor and attitude towards life in general.  

MIND BLOWN.  BOOM.  SPLAT.  Taylor Jenkins Reid truly knows how to weave a tale.  The intricacies of Evelyn's past, combined with Monique's attitude and how Evelyn's inspiring her over their short time together, is subtly done and we, as readers, begin to feel DEEPLY about both of them.  

"The world doesn't give things, you take things."

If you want something, go after it. Looks like the author took this same advice when she told her editors what she wanted to do... it's a blessing they know she's talented to make this happen is such a beautiful way.  Evelyn takes her saying to heart and Monique begins to learn these things as they go along.

"Be wary of men with something to prove."

Hallelujah, Evelyn, hall-freakin'-lujah!  We've all succumbed to reading our "smut" magazines and ingratiating ourselves into the lives of celebrities.  Now see how the author takes you on the other side of the equation.  Money, power, popularity - these can come and go on a dime... and do you ever really know if people love you for YOU and not what you can do for them?

This book was beyond my expectations.  I could rave about this forever.  I became more and more involved with each marriage... more and more involved with Monique's journey during Evelyn's life journey.. I have a serious book hangover and I think I need a support group!  Bringing everything full circle with a reveal that gave me more face wrinkles from the tears I fought hard to keep back, I am utterly floored and in love with everything about this book.  Do yourself a favor and get involved.  This part contemporary, part historical fiction is something people will be talking about for years.  My brain.  My heart. I'm spent.  It's such an amazing feeling when a book can dig deep into your every pore like this one does.  I do know one thing, if all this came to life and I saw Evelyn Hugo, or even Monique Grant, on TV, I'd end up chipping a tooth.
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When I requested this one on NetGalley, I didn't look at the blurb. I saw TJR was the author and requested it. She's just one of those authors who doesn't let you down. 

Ever wanted to pull back the curtain and see what it was really like behind the scenes of a famous actress? The good, the bad, the ugly... it's all revealed when Evelyn Hugo decides to do a tell all with an aspiring journalist, Monique. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Monique because Evelyn does not do interviews. She's led, what most believe, is a super glamorous life and everyone is dying to know who her one great love was. All that and more is answered for Monique, but she soon finds out that there's a reason why she was picked for this tell all interview.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was so different from anything I've read recently. The book wasn't broken down into chapters, but more so husbands of Evelyn and periods of her life. Beneath it all, this novel is really about a forbidden romance and how that romance stands the test of of time and judgement of others. In the end, we all just want to be happy.

I was given an arc from the publisher via NetGalley
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Book & Audiobook Review: 5+++ Stars
 
I can’t even with the awesomeness of this book. Oh. My. God. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is magnificent. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing is flawless, accompanied with a marvelous narration of Alma Cuervo, Julia Whelan, Robin Miles, they made Evelyn Hugo and Monique Grant’s stories really, really amazing. I don’t have words to describe it, and I don’t really know how to write this review without giving spoilers, because Oh. My. God. Everything would be a spoiler. Everything. But I think a Top 10 will do it very well and maybe you’ll be really intrigued and curious about this book and go read it, and please listen to it, right after you finish reading my review. So, here I go…
 
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Top 10 
 
10. The husbands  
Right when I started reading/listening to this book I thought of Elizabeth Taylor. 
**** picture****
I don’t know much about Elizabeth Taylor’s life but once I continued reading, Elizabeth left my mind and there was only Evelyn Hugo. They were all means to an ends. At the beginning, getting married for Evelyn was to get the fame she craved so fiercely, but later they were for a much meaningful reason—that I can’t mention in my review because HUGE SPOILER, but I can say that I understand, especially for the timeline of Evelyn Hugo’s life. In the present, that all could have been avoided, well, mostly, but really, life in the 50’s and 60’s was really archaic and frustrating, not only for women but also for men. 
My favorite of all Evelyn’s husbands was Harry. He was the most amazing man in her life. 
9. Hollywood life
I’ve been attracted to Hollywood stars all my life. I’ve got obsessed with a lot of them which means I’ve followed their life like a hawk and I’ve defended them, talk with such knowledge about their lives and all, and with every book I read about celebrities I feel like everything is a HUGE LIE in their lives. Or at least what media say about them. Evelyn Hugo’s public life was a big lie, and she kept lying until the moment she decided to give her true story to Monique before she died. She lied to get what she wanted, she manipulated people to get her stardom and to keep it and sadly those lies costed her so much, broke her heart so many times and hurt so many people, but they all were her choice and despite she regretted some of them, she also felt proud for most of them too, because that’s the life she wanted the most.   
8. The authorized biography
Evelyn was ruthless on the way she told Monique her story, her truth. In the end of the book, Monique asked herself if maybe Evelyn was too hard on herself for the regrets and losses, but the truth is that Evelyn had nothing to loss at the moment of the interviews with Monique, so I feel like Evelyn’s truth was the whole truth. 
7. The reason why Monique was the only one who could write the authorized biography
It’s shocking and heartbreaking. I can’t say more because SPOILERS. 
6. Learning to get what you want from the best
Monique not only got the deal of her professional life out of writing Evelyn’s authorized biography, but also learnt a few tricks for life, especially about how to deal with her failed marriage and her mean boss. 
5. The love and acceptance of family and true friends
Evelyn had two constants in her life, they became best friends to her when she was a starlet and later family. Their love was endless and beautiful and they accepted each other with all their ups and downs. Sadly there were heartbreaks on the way and they lost so many precious time because their pride and insecurities but in the end they found their way back together and finally had what they wanted the most. 
4. The meaning of soulmates
It was around that time that I started to believe that friendships could be written in the stars. “If there are all different types of soul mates,” I told Harry one afternoon, when the two of us were sitting out on the patio with Connor, “then you are one of mine.” 
(...) 
Harry held Connor to his chest with one hand and grabbed my free hand with the other. “I am absolutely positive that I need you more than I’ve ever needed another living soul,” he said. 
3. The meaning of intimacy
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.
2. The narrations from Alma Cuervo, Julia Whelan, Robin Miles
They were absolutely flawless. The performances were complete, the pace, the inflexions, the pronunciations and accents. All of them were perfect. I loved the most Alma Cuervo with her elegant voice that made me love Evelyn Hugo so much. 
1. Evelyn Hugo
A Hollywood star who created herself and went for everything she ever wanted and got it all. This book made me fall in love with her, with all her strengths and flaws. I cried with her, laughed with her and loved with her. Not all the books I read got to tell the whole story of a character and this one did it and I couldn't help to cry even more in the end of this book. 
 
Now you know all the reasons why I loved this book and audiobook so much, now I recommend you to go and read it, and better yet, listen to it. You’ll love the beautiful writing and the amazing story of Evelyn Hugo.
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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the first book by Taylor Jenkins Reid that I have read and I loved it.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a fascinating tale of an aging Hollywood bombshell. She was married seven times. And you think...wow that is a lot of husbands. But as you read the tale, each marriage makes perfect sense in Evelyn's intriguing life story.

Monique Grant is a writer for a popular New York based magazine. She is still climbing the ladder so everyone is surprised when Evelyn requests Monique to write her biography. Monique is fascinated as Evelyn's tale unfolds and she learns a lot about life from Evelyn. But at the end, Evelyn has a quite the surprise for Monique. Can Monique deal with the news enough that she can properly write Evelyn's story?

You will love this book! I highly recommend The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
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Have you ever wanted to pull back the curtain on Hollywood starlets and see how they make it all happen?  After reading Evelyn’s story, you may want to rethink that notion and just remain blissfully ignorant.  This story is powerful and empowering, it’s emotional and heartbreaking, and it’s a work of fiction that reads like an autobiography of a real-life Hollywood actress. 

To be clear, Evelyn is not a shrinking violet, she’s not apologetic, and she’s not a woman’s woman.  She’s bold and she’s daring and you may love to hate her by the end.  But if you read about Evelyn’s husbands (all seven of them), you might just realize that the picture-perfect lives and Hollywood glamour are not as shiny as they seem. The real story behind the facade is full of pain and heartache and sacrifice and suffering.

Evelyn Hugo was born into an immigrant family and raised in Hell’s Kitchen, New York by a drunken father.  From a young age, she knew she wanted to be a star.  What she did to escape her dreary life may seem opportunistic, but for Evelyn, it was a chance to make her dreams come true.  Blessed with a figure that made men drool, Evelyn used every advantage she could to rise to the top of Hollywood’s “It List”.  Along the way, she had to be emotionless and cutthroat, she had to use people, and she had to hurt the people she loved the most to reach her goals.

Told in present-day and flashbacks, Evelyn lays out her story to a magazine reporter.  The details of her life are so vivid; I could imagine Evelyn as a real-life Liz Taylor or Jane Mansfield.  The interwoven themes and history were spellbinding and true-to-life.  I was mesmerized by the storyline, the characters, and the tarnished fairytale.  My heart ached for Evelyn and her pursuit of ‘being known’ as an actress, while also yearning to be known for who she was as a person, not just as a star.  The pain and heartache are visceral and guaranteed to stir a reaction within the reader. 

By telling her whole sordid story after everyone she ever loved is buried and gone, Evelyn is able to shatter the illusion, the truth is finally able to come to light and the record is able to be set straight.  This isn’t a story about rainbows and unicorns; it is an unapologetic look back at the life of a woman who succeeded in becoming one of the most recognizable women in Hollywood.  You can’t make it to the top without stepping on toes and pushing people out of the way.  While portrayed in the papers as a ‘bombshell’, Evelyn is sharp as a tack and she is ruthless in her pursuit of fame and fortune. 

This is my second book by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I loved it just as much as One True Loves.  Reid has a genuine gift for storytelling with intricate details and unique storylines.  Her realistic characters and powerful prose are hallmarks of her writing and her talent is spellbinding.  I know that I will be reading her entire backlist in the near future.
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5 STARS

I could tell within just a few pages upon starting to read this book that it would be special. Taylor Jenkins Reid's writing has always felt like a breath of fresh air but she somehow upped her game with this story. I immediately wanted to know Evelyn Hugo. I wanted her secrets, I wanted her truths. I wanted her life story and I wanted to know why she chose Monique Grant to tell it. This wholly immersive storyline with its breathtaking prose and lush imagery swept me away. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a devastating, beautiful ode to an iconic Hollywood legend and it's a breathtaking demonstration of the unparalleled mastery of Taylor Jenkins Reid.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is rife with profound messages about embracing all the sides of ourselves. It's an evocative look at what women have endured over the course of time to be successful, to be seen; a raw demonstration of what women have faced and continue to face, dimming their own lights to appease men, using unconventional means to further themselves, hiding their truths because there'd be no one there to catch them if they fell. This story is fun to read, it's entertaining, sure. It's also profoundly heavy at times, devastating in ways that will probably haunt me for days to come. The story of Evelyn Hugo is sometimes joyful, often tragic, always captivating. But the historical accuracy, the real world issues woven through this book are what stood out most for me. Evelyn Hugo's story is not just a chronicle of her life as she made her way through old Hollywood, it's truly a timepiece, plotting out the adversity that faced all women, all people, over the last century in America. 

I love what Taylor Jenkins Reid has done here with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I can't say that enough. I loved it. It's breathtaking and brilliant and all. the. things. To say this story consumed me would be an understatement. I'm still wiping away tears as I write these words. This is a book that will stand out as one of the most unforgettable stories I've read. Ever. Reid's writing in this book is nothing short of superb. Every word, I swear, was perfection. The storytelling, the complexity of Evelyn Hugo, the meticulous crafting of this remarkable life, the absolutely SHOCKING twists and turns, everything about the cultivation of this book is OUTSTANDING. As I said before, I knew as soon as I began reading this book that it would be special. I could feel it. But I had no idea just how special it would be, how monumental and important this book truly is.

The life of Evelyn Hugo is an amazing story, the things she went through, her loves, her lies, her pain, her loss, her joy, her truths all culminate into this riveting, unbelievably fascinating story that I couldn't put down. But as swept away as I was by Evelyn Hugo, I was just as blown away by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I've read and loved all of her books and I've always come away impressed, moved, heartbroken, fulfilled. But with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid has BLOWN ME AWAY. She's a force to be reckoned with, a phenomenal writer, and a brilliant storyteller. This story is the embodiment of literary perfection and I will be screaming about it from the rooftops to all who will listen.
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Being a big fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid, I was so excited when I saw she had a new book coming out.

When I read the description I was at first a little unsure about it, since it's not her usual thing, but decided I had to give it a try anyway.

This book is so beautifully written and it has the type of writing that transports you through time and it made me feel like I was right there with Evelyn throughout her years.

Evelyn is the sort of character that is imperfect, who makes mistakes, but you can't help feeling for her and all the struggles she goes through. She's a flawed person who was dealt a bad hand and like everyone else just tried to deal with it the best she could, even if she didn't always make the right choices and ended up hurting people.

This book is amazingly written and I lost count of how many times I teared up reading it. I can't remember it enough.
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I'll just put it out there now – get ready for what will be an unpopular opinion review (not counting the three other friends of mine who 100% feel the same way as I do about this book). But I was not a fan of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. In fact, if not for TJR's name displayed prominently on the cover, it seemed like this was written by a completely different author and not the one who's stories have made me think, cry and wonder about all the possibilities of chance and love. This was a total departure from the nuanced characters and fresh, thought-provoking perspectives she usually brings to the table with her books. Instead this was just one awful stereotype after another and filled with what felt like glaring PSAs on every other page. Basically, famous Old Hollywood actress Evelyn Hugo is ready to share her salacious past with the world and she wants magazine reporter Monique Grant to do the job. No one is more shocked by this than Monique but she's up for the task. She begins visiting Evelyn at her Upper East Side apartment to learn the details of her life. But of course, the side of Evelyn everyone has been curious about is her love life. It's hard not to be when she's been married seven times. We learn the details of how made her way to Hollywood, the people she got involved with – some for the sole purpose of furthering her career and others more genuinely – and a whole lot of secrets she kept behind closed doors. And I just couldn't bring myself to care? I have no problems with unlikable characters if they feel real and have depth but I found both lacking here with almost all the characters and even the situations they found themselves in. I asked myself "really?" a lot and overall was just unimpressed with the direction the story took.

Do I recommend? No, which really pains me to say because a new release from TJR is always something I majorly look forward to but this was so disappointing.
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Ever wonder what's the real deal behind this or that celebrity marriage? Do you ever try to figure out what is real news, what's speculation, and what is planted news in every source of media you come across on a daily basis from gossip sites to even the most reputable of magazines to news articles? Wish you knew the "real" celebrity behind the on-screen persona? Then The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the perfect book for you. An engrossing and utterly enthralling look into stardom, the press, the people behind the silver screen and beyond the red carpet, and all the lying, cheating, betrayal, and exploitation that goes along with it. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is an unexpected and unique love story with more than a few great twists. An exposé of sorts that will keep you glued to the pages of this book and totally consumed by this story.

The simultaneous stories of two women. One manipulative and borderline unscrupulous, willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants. The other a bit naive, a whole lot complacent, and just learning how to take control of her own life and destiny in order to do what is best for her. Both intriguing in their own ways and both powerfully evocative in the best and worst of ways.

Reliving the life and numerous marriages of Evelyn Hugo was something very different from Taylor Jenkins Reid and yet exactly what we've come to know and love from this author. Love her or hate her, Evelyn Hugo is absolutely fascinating and to say I was bewitched by her would be an incredible understatement. The story itself was unbelievably compelling, so much so that I still find myself getting caught up in thinking about it long after I've finished, the connection between Evelyn and Monique is delightfully shocking, and the direction of the story and the secrets revealed along the way are completely unexpected and wonderfully absorbing. It was everything you could hope for and have come to expect from a story penned by this author. Just as exquisitely told as we've experienced time and again with a Taylor Jenkins Reid book, but also something new, something fresh, and something daring.

Addictive, provocative, shocking, and gripping, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is more than just a story about an eccentric lady with many husbands. It is more than strength and determination, deception and control at all costs. It is more than the story of a woman finding herself with the help of another. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a story about truth, acceptance, seeing life in shades of gray instead of merely black and white, rights, responsibilities, image, family, true love, intimacy, and forgiveness and you are bound to love every minute of it.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
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