Back in April, Rachael, Sophia and I decided to start an e-book club where we could choose an inexpensive ebook each month, read it and then review. We thought it would be a lovely idea to expand this to you guys so if you’re interested then make sure you check out my post.
Today I’m reviewing our first pick, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I cannot believe how long it took me to pick this book up and I am SO GLAD that I finally did! I listened to the audiobook of Daisy Jones & The Six, also by TJR, and loved that so I had super high hopes for this. Keep on reading for my spoiler free review.
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Taylor Jenkins Reid may have actually just become an auto-buy author for me. I picked up the ebook (which was £1.99 if you can believe!) after listening to Reid’s prior novel Daisy Jones & The Six on Audible and raced through the story, leaving the book feeling actually bereft that it was over.
It’s so hard to say much without spoiling anything, and I would definitely recommend going into it without much prior knowledge to get the most out of the story to get the full benefit! The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo tells the story of Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo through sections split into each of her husbands. We follow Evelyn through her life, from being a teenager living in a downtrodden area with a problematic family to rising to the heights of stardom and beyond.
There was so much depth to this story, more than I expected going in which I really enjoyed, though at times the story was dark and heavy. Therefore I want to point out trigger warnings for abuse and domestic violence, homophobia, suicide, cancer and fatphobia/discussions of Hollywood beauty standards.
While yes there was all of the above, there is also lots of representation such as characters of different races and sexual orientations which is obviously always welcomed! Along with this, there were humorous moments, moments full of love and happiness and strong family bonds that really made me smile.
I became so invested in this story that I felt as though I was reading a real autobiography, that the characters were real people and I wanted to Google photos of them and read up on their lives. Though there is a lot going on in the story, with different locations and times, I do feel as though the story was primarily character driven and I think that is one of the things that makes this book so special.
The format was also enjoyable as I found myself intrigued by both Evelyn’s past and her present relationship with Monique and how that would unfold. While I definitely did not always agree with Evelyn’s decisions or actions, I admired her strength and did feel for her a lot. The Hollywood glamour feels were almost tangible throughout, particularly due to the way that Evelyn carried herself throughout her life.
As I said before, it’s very hard to write a constructive review without giving too much of the story but what I can say is that although The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a long way from my usual reads of fantasy tales, I loved it nonetheless. I originally gave it 4.5 stars but I am definitely changing that to 5 because looking back it was just an incredible and gripping read from start to end. Now I’m off to check out more of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books….
The Literary Adventure June Book Pick
So, if you fancy joining in throughout June (no obligations!) then here’s all the info about our next read. We have chosen The Rumour by Lesley Kara which features small town paranoia and an unknown murderer in their midst. It comes very highly reviewed and is also a bestselling ebook on Amazon for only £1.99 – we would love it if you would join us. Make sure to use the #theliteraryadventure on social media so we can see how each other are getting on!
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