I hope you’ve all had a good week. I feel like so much has changed since I last posted. Wales are close to coming out of the firebreaker lockdown, England have gone into a four week lockdown and the USA have a new President Elect (thank goodness!) Bit of a rollercoaster week and I’m slightly behind on writing this review as I have been glued to CNN for the last five days. But I’m back and ready to review!
Last year I read Daisy Jones & The Six and I fell in love with it. When I was looking for my next read and scrolling through my to read list, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo caught my eye and I knew it was right what I needed to read next.
Evelyn Hugo was Hollywood royalty in her time, but in her later years, she lives a quiet, reclusive life. When Evelyn decides to donate many of her famous dresses to charity, she also decides that she’s ready to tell all about her glamorous and scandalous life; including her seven husbands.
Evelyn has very clear requirements about who she wants to write the tell all book and it’s a surprise to everyone in the journalist world. She chooses Monique Grant who has written one pretty successful piece but otherwise has hovered under the radar. Up until now. Monique is at a time in her life where her personal and professional life need a bit of a kick start, so she accepts the offer.
Together in Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique and Evelyn start from the 1950s through to the present. Leaving no secret buried and all the juicy details of Evelyn’s life they plot out Evelyn’s life story; all the while Monique is wondering why she in particular was chosen for this job. Until the story catches up to the present and it becomes clear that Evelyn and Monique’s coming together is more than just for a book.
General Thoughts 🤔
This book was everything that I expected and more. I expected glamour and drama and juicy old time Hollywood stories. What I got was all of that plus some tugging on my heart strings which I did not expect.
Obviously from the title, Evelyn had seven husbands through her lifetime and the first question Monique asked her was “which one was your true love?”. The answer to this question wasn’t a simple one and it’s where Evelyn’s long kept secrets start to unravel. I loved this touch to the book. It revealed so much about what Hollywood and the movie business must have been like in the 50s/60s/70s.
I got so invested in Evelyn’s story, I was 100% hooked and devoured every bit of it. By the time the ending started to come around, it really did hit me quite hard. I ended up shedding tears for so many different reasons.
I’ll start with Monique. I really liked Monique’s character and it was really interesting to see her grow and start to rebuild her confidence in herself as the book went on. I think she learnt a lot from Evelyn about love and her career and she implemented changes in her own life based on lessons learnt by Evelyn in hers.
Evelyn was such a complex character and I couldn’t help but love her, faults and all. In my opinion she was the definition of a ballsy lady but every high flying woman has their weak spots. Evelyn knew what she wanted for her life from a very early age and wasn’t going to let anyone stop her from getting there. I think she struggled throughout her life with choosing between her career/image and love. She may not have made the most sensible or moral decisions over the years but I admire that she stood by all of her choices and had no regrets.
Writing Style ✍️
The way that this book is written was one of the biggest positives for me. Similar to Daisy Jones & The Six, it’s like watching a movie without the visuals. The book is split between present day Evelyn and Monique, Evelyn from the past and various news and magazine articles about Evelyn from over the years. It really kept me engaged and I can’t explain why, but made it feel different from a lot of other style of writing.
Conclusion & Scoring 🏅
I genuinely can’t come up with anything negative to say about this book. I like every single thing about it. It’s not just a juicy old time Hollywood story, it has so much more to it. Evelyn and Monique’s stories brought a lump to my throat multiple times. I need more Taylor Jenkins Reid. I also need Daisy Jones & The Six to hurry up and appear on Amazon!! Excuse me whilst I go away and google every corner of the internet for more details on both.