The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: an alluring depiction of the sparkling ugliness of the golden Hollywood era

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The cover of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

Several scandals, a series of cinematic productions, seven husbands, one Evelyn Hugo.

The New York Times bestselling novel The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is gaining attention on social media platforms such as TikTok, with a large number of readers expressing their love for the series as a whole and its heart-wrenching ending. My expectations were lofty, and it far surpassed them. I finished reading the entirety of this novel, cover to cover, in 48 hours, and it’s inarguably one of the best I’ve ever read.

It kept me turning pages desperately in a need to uncover the truth behind her seven husbands, and the answer to the one question every reader is begging for: who was Evelyn’s greatest love?”

The plot circles around Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo; she is finally ready to tell the story of her scandalous life, and she reaches out to the not-so-famous magazine reporter Monique Grant to write the biography for her. As a warning, I’d like to mention that the novel does incorporate domestic abuse, death/grief, homophobia/biphobia, and racism. The story is written in a format where Evelyn is telling her life story in first-person narration from the 1950s to the 1980s, and in between chapters, the story switches back to the current period of time with Monique as the first-person narrator.

This book paints the story of a woman’s life arguably better than I’ve seen any real biography do. Evelyn’s characterization is so complex that by the end of the novel, it’s hard to think that she isn’t a real person; her story just seems like a memoir. 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is extraordinary and well-deserving of all five stars. It kept me turning pages desperately in a need to uncover the truth behind her seven husbands, and the answer to the one question every reader is begging for: who was Evelyn’s greatest love?

I’ve never read anything by Reid before, and this isn’t the type of story I typically pick up, but the rise in media coverage about it intrigued me, and after reading a single chapter, I was hooked; it’s a quintessential page-turner. The portrayal of love as a dangerous feeling is so obscure, and it really makes you realize how different the world was even only fifty years ago. The story of movie-star Evelyn Hugo is so honest, enthralling, and absolutely heartbreaking; every story of each of Evelyn’s husbands is devastating and sheds light on the not-so-glamorous side of being rich and famous. 

The revelation of who Evelyn’s true love was, who her purest love was, and finally, the tragic plot twist at the end of the story connecting Evelyn to Monique made the plot line so enticing. I truly wish I could erase my memory to read this book for the first time again.