“Everyone I loved is dead now. There’s no one left to protect. No one left to lie for me but me. . . . I want them to know the real story. The real me.”
“Show me the real you, then. And I’ll make sure the world understands.”
The title of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s new novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, should be enough to draw your attention. And believe me when I say that once you get beyond the cover, you will no doubt be hooked. The story of an aging Hollywood starlet, this is the juiciest Hollywood memoir you will never get to read.
Evelyn Hugo, once a Hollywood superstar surrounded by scandal and gossip in addition to her renowned career, has decided to tell the truth about her life and rise to fame. When she chooses Monique Grant, a relatively unknown journalist, everyone is confused, including Monique. As Monique listens to Evelyn’s life story in her glamorous NYC apartment, she wonders why on earth Evelyn has chosen her to write an authorized biography. Evelyn’s story begins in the 1950s and continues through to today, and by the end all of her reasons become clear.
I absolutely loved this book. When I chose it as my June Book of the Month Club pick, I was expecting a nice, light read. Something a bit fluffier than the heavier books I’ve read lately. This was not that book. This is a delicious novel, rich with well-developed characters and a fascinating story. Don’t we all wonder what’s really behind the Photoshopped perfection of Hollywood’s biggest stars? Reid does an exceptional job of creating a story for Evelyn that is both sad and remarkably enterprising. Her writing style is impressive, and she clearly loves every character.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was heartbreaking in a way I wasn’t expecting. I could really feel how immense yet devastating Evelyn’s life was. She had a BIG life with twists that I didn’t see coming. The ending is one of those twists, and I have to comment about it. (No spoilers, I promise!) These are the kinds of endings I love. Everything is kind of wrapped up, but far from neatly. Reid doesn’t shield her readers from the profoundly heartbreaking parts, and that is greatly appreciated.
This book is one that will stay with me for awhile. I can’t stop thinking about Evelyn and how lonely a perfectly-crafted life can really be. This was the first of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books that I’ve read, and if all of her other books are this engaging, she might just be my next binge-read author!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo will be published on June 13!