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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

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Member Reviews

I inhaled The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in one sitting. I was sucked into the glitz of old Hollywood and Evelyn's rise to the top and, of course, the question burning a hole in my mind: why in the world did she pick Monique to write her story??? Let me tell you, when I found out why, I had a total, "What in the hell did I just read?!?! Did I read that right? I need to go back and read those sentences again!" I never saw THAT twist coming in a million years, so I tip my hat to you, Ms. Jenkins Reid! Anyhoo, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Evelyn. She knew what she wanted and she never let anyone or anything get in her way. Some may have found her manipulative and calculating, but I found her headstrong and determined. While reading, I often wondered if Evelyn were a man in Hollywood in the 50's would she have had to go to the lengths that she sometimes did, and my answer was always, "Hell no!" We see the Hollywood double standard and Evelyn still rising to the top despite them. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo gives us an inside look at the side of Hollywood and celebrity we don't normally see.  In it, we see the struggles, secrets, double standards, and what life overall was like for a star in Hollywood in the 50's and beyond. Evelyn's story will make you cry, it'll make you hurt for her because no matter who she hurt to get to the top, she always was the one who ended up hurting, and you may even find yourself rooting for her to get her HEA.
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4 1/2 stars -
Wow this was good! I couldn't put it down! Stayed up until 2am reading last night, picked it up this morning about 10am and read to the end. I didn't like Daisy Jones and the Six very much (you can read my review of it over there) but this earlier book of Reids I really enjoyed. Maybe because I know more about Hollywood than the Rock scene. I know this book is fiction, but I could see a lot of the Hollywood stories reflected here.

The writing is very fluid and the structure of the chapters makes it very hard to find a stopping point. The storyline is very intriguing, and also makes it hard to stop! I did feel the relationship with Monique was a bit forced, and the ending faded a bit on that storyline, but overall the book was very good. If you're into Hollywood intrigue and non traditional relationships, this is a definite Must Read! Highly Recommended.
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Another title I finally read just this year. I had heard so much hype about the title that I knew I had to make it a priority. While Evelyn didn’t feel so real to me that I felt compelled to look her up like she was real (which I heard others say), she was a compelling woman.  I appreciated that she lived her life as she saw fit, even though, by necessity of the time, she had to hide who she was from the outside world. Once I started, I was compelled to both see how the seven husbands were weaved into her story and then, finally, needed to find out what Evelyn was hiding from her interviewer/biographer. A thoroughly enjoyable story with important representation.
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This is such a unique book.   I don’t know that I have ever read a book like this before.    When I picked it up I thought oh boy… here we go a woman who married 7 men.   What kind of story could this be?   Oh my, I was wrong.   This is amazing.    I could not read it fast enough.   This is not just a romance, a love em and leave em story there is so much more.    
Taylor Jenkins Reid wrote a story set around a young girl from a poor family in the 1950’s heading to Hollywood to make it as an actress.    The hoops she had to jump through, the people she had to be friends with, and the things she had to do to become an A+++ lister.   There was scandal and love, friendship and fake friends, family and foes that all came together for the perfect story.    

The tie between Monique and Evelyn was interesting.   I feel like Evelyn had secrets that I wasn’t sure she would be able to share yet Monique seemed to know what questions to ask, where to push, and when to back off while getting the story of  her lifetime.    I had no idea what would tie them together or how their lives intersected and was intrigued to find out.  

Taylor Jenkins Reid has once again written a book full of emotion.    She is a must read author for me.
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What a story! I can't believe I didn't think the hype would live up to this book, but it certainly did. This book follows a fictional actress who rose to fame in the 1950's, but she felt so real that I couldn't believe this wasn't someone's actual life story. I was captivated from the start, and couldn't stop listening to it once I really got into the story. This is definitely a new favorite and I am looking forward to reading more by TJR soon.
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This is one of the best books that I read in 2017.  Taylor Jenkins Reid is a GENIUS!  After having also read Daisy Jones and the Six, I am a diehard fan.  Bravo.
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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, filled with Hollywood glamour and scandal, is also a complex, deep exploration of love, family, secrets, and the truth behind the headlines.

As 79-year-old Evelyn Hugo reveals her life story to a hand-picked writer, she tells the story of her climb to Hollywood stardom, her many marriages, and the joys and sorrows she experienced along the way. This book is best experienced with no advance knowledge, so I'm grateful that I hadn't encountered spoilers for Evelyn's secrets before reading it!

The characters are finely drawn and powerful, and Evelyn's story packs an emotional punch. This is a beautiful book, one that I'll be recommending to all my book-loving friends. A true must-read!
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When Monique Grant gets the opportunity to interview Hollywood starlet Evelyn Hugo, now in her 70s, she jumps at the chance, knowing this will make her career as a writer. Evelyn is auctioning off some of her most famous gowns to raise money for breast cancer research, and the reclusive star has agreed to a story. But Monique is unprepared for what Evelyn is actually offering her– the chance for an authorized biography, with all proceeds to go to Monique herself. It’s a deal that would establish her career and make her millions.

Evelyn has always been beautiful, genetically blessed with bronzed skin and blonde hair, dark eyebrows and a stunning body. Even from a young age, she learned quickly that her main weapon in life was her sexuality, and that her choices were limited to demanding things in return for it or giving it away for free. Leaving behind her abusive father and dead-end life in Hells Kitchen, New York, she makes her way out to Hollywood with her first husband, a man she married for convenience, her ticket across the country. As she begins to find her way onto the silver screen, the studio discretely pays off her first husband for her to very publicly fall in love with her second husband, a co-star with whom she falls madly in love. Mild spoiler, although you find this out relatively early on: In spite of her 7 marriages, the big secret of Evelyn’s life is that she is bisexual, a fact she hid from the public, in part through her many marriages to a string of men. In fact, of the 7 marriages, all but 2 were for show only, and the ones that weren’t were unhappy. Evelyn’s true love was another actress, and throughout their lives they break up and make up, always coming back to each other.

All fiction is, in one way or another, didactic, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is no exception. It teaches that you have to do whatever is right for you, and you have to figure out how to manipulate circumstances and people in your favor, because no one else will do it for you. Not an original thought, maybe, but Monique dutifully learns her lesson, letting go of her marriage and figuring out how to manipulate both her magazine and Evelyn so that she won’t lose a paycheck. It’s an interesting look at Hollywood’s golden age from the inside, but I didn’t really warm to any of the characters.
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“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.” 

Absolutely speechless. There are not enough stars for this heartbreaking, stunning and powerful story! The story is a tour de force about Hollywood, race and the staggering price of fame.

I have been sitting on this review for a while and finally felt enough distance from this story to write down my thoughts. I had this book on my Kindle FOREVER and for some reason, just ignored it. And now it has turned into one of my all-time favorites. (If you are an audio book lover, I highly recommend the audio, the narrators are SPECTACULAR.)

The book begins with Monique, whose husband has left her and who has been struggling a bit with her journalism career. At first I could not fit the pieces together as to why Evelyn, a world-renowned, reclusive movie star would single out Monique to write her no-holds-barred biography. But the pieces fit together perfectly and I urge every reader to stick with this book! It is well worth it. 

I absolutely adore Hollywood stories - fiction and non-fiction - so I was enchanted by Evelyn's story. She literally narrates the Golden Age of Hollywood, from the days of contract players to modern-day Hollywood. There are pieces of Elizabeth Taylor, Great Garbo, Rita Hayworth and Doris Day mixed in here and the characters are vivid and real. And Evelyn, the center of the story, was a woman ahead of her time. And she paid the price for her independent streak and her brains. 

“I am under no obligation to make sense to you,” Evelyn said. 

Evelyn marries a series of men but each one never held her heart. That person is best left for the reader to discover, as I did, never having read a spoiler-ish review. Some of her husbands were friends, some were lovers, and some were simply for good press. It made me wonder how many Hollywood actresses in the past were victims of the studio system and their ironclad control over their actors? 

“It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.” 

This book perfectly zeroes in on the price of fame. It is truly an epic book, spanning several decades and examining the changing morals of Hollywood. Evelyn sacrificed so much on her climb to the top but really all she wanted was to do good work. She was sometimes ruthless but would have given it all up for her one true love. 

“She always made sure the bad was outweighed by so much good. I...well, I didn't do that for her. I made it fifty-fifty. Which is about the cruelest thing you can do to someone you love, give them just enough good to make them stick through a hell of a lot of bad.” 

This book has a whopper of a twist and it made all the pieces of the story come together perfectly. The author writes with real emotion and honesty and it shows. Don't miss this one. It is a must-read. I will never forget Evelyn Hugo and these characters. 

“Never let anyone make you feel ordinary.”
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I absolutely recommend reading this if you’re into amazing writing and raw yet poignant storytelling.

I reviewed this one on my blog back in 2017 and gave it 4.5 stars (see review link below).
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Love this. Really, really loved this. Once I actually sat down to read it I raced through it and could barely put it down. It's a great story, well told and totally compelling. A great beach/holiday read. My only regret is letting it languish on my kindle for so long.  It’s hard to explain how clever this novel is.  It is a totally page-turning book – the sort of thing you could sit and read on a sun-lounger all day without being bored (if you can read slow enough) but it’s also a very smart look at the world we live in.

Evelyn is a Cuban-America and as she rises up through the Hollywood machine you see the challenges that she faces as a woman and as a Latina and to be herself.  She’s constantly having to change, to tone-down or hide aspects of herself in order to be acceptable and accepted and successful.  But it’s so well written that it’s only afterwards you realise how much social commentary is in there. It’s good and it’s very, very clever. I’ve also gone down a few Google and Wikipedia rabbit holes since finishing this, trying to work out which bits of Evelyn’s story are based on which real life Hollywood stars. I can’t tell you my conclusions though because it’ll give too much away. Sorry, not sorry.
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And it's a 2-0 for Taylor Jenkins Reid. Though not as wrenching as My First Two Loves, THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO drew me in and had me lost in Hollywood Icon Evelyn Hugo's desultory love life. Suffice to say that this was almost impossible to put down. It's subtle, very straightforward, and unintentionally romantic. Evelyn Hugo is an anti-heroine and she's quick to vilify herself, stressing that she's a calculating bitch who'll do what she has to do to get what she wants regardless of the means. 

And for all of Evelyn's awe inspiring life and love story, I also felt an overwhelming sadness, and at times anger towards her and on her behalf. TJReid didn't romanticize Hugo's flaws nor hid it behind the convenience of glamour of her status as a Hollywood icon, Evelyn is as human as you could possibly imagine, you could almost see her bleed through the pages. 

This novel is raw and emotionally grating, I felt challenged to find some redemptive quality of Hugo's to absolve her in the end. I could go wax poetic over how fantastic THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO is but where's the fun in that?! Aside from me boring you, I'd rather you read this for yourself and experience the magic that is Evelyn Hugo.

PS Apologies for the late feedback, life's been busy and I'm just finding the time transcribing my reviews here.
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4.5 stars
Thank you to Net Galley and Atria Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely loved this book and did not want it to end. It sucked me in right from the beginning and left me wanting more at the end. This was truly a unique story with characters that are flawed but that you find yourself loving anyway. Evelyn Hugo is a Hollywood legend and for the first time ever she wants to tell the story of her rise to the top, laying bare all the truths and secrets she has held on to for so long. She has chosen a down on her luck writer, Monique, to tell her story, and as the tales unfold, Monique finds herself drawn into Evelyn's world and feels a connection to her. But as the story ends, Monique finds out the real reason why Evelyn chose her and discovers a connection she never could have imagined.
Another great book from Taylor Jenkins Reid, her best yet.
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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was a great beach read.  By far not a heavy read, however, I stayed hooked throughout the read. I liked the style of the writing and found the story very compelling. I would highly recommend this book if you are looking for a truly entertaining read.
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Fantastic read! Captivating. Beautiful written. Excellent suspense. And thoughtful ending that kept me thinking even after I put the book down. An excellent contemporary read for fiction, drama, and suspense fans.
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TJR is one of my go to authors when I need an escape read.  this was a nice read with a fun story.  read for an online book club and it brought up great questions and lots of good discussion
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I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. 

TJR can seriously do no wrong! I definitely felt like this book was going to go one direction and then it completely took off in another. Yes it was a love story but it was a very unconventional love story and more about an extraordinary woman’s life and what she did to make it there. Definitely give this TJR book a chance if you haven’t already!
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Unique, compelling, and heartbreaking, this book was one of my top reads of the year. Reid's storytelling talent really shone in this book, hooking me from the very start, and refusing to let me go, even long after I closed this book.

A beautiful chronicle of an extraordinary life, this story made a real impact on me. it was fascinating and could have easily been a true story. The writing was so rich & vivid, every scene played out like a movie in my mind.

Evelyn Hugo is a dynamic character, some will love her, some will loathe her, but few will ever be able to forget her. Her story is tragic and triumphant, and one that I will always love and recommend.
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It’s no secret that Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my favorites, so of course her new book (with a sweet dedication to her daughter) tops my list. It’s a book I found hard to put down, which makes it perfect for those days where you just want to lay outside and soak up the sun. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo comes out on June 13, and you can read my preview of it here!
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I absolutely loved this book. It wasn't at all what I was expecting from the author, as it was quite the departure from her usual style, but I'm glad I read it. Evelyn was a great character - strong, fierce, complicated, and very flawed. Although at times Evelyn was hard to like, I was so wrapped up in her life story. I cried for her, laughed with her, you get the idea. I loved that there was a lot of diversity with the secondary characters, and with Evelyn herself. I absolutely loved the ending and was so pleased with where we left off with Evelyn's story. TJR remains one of my favorite authors and I will read any words that she writes.
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