20 Books of Summer Book 14 Review – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genre: Historical/ Romance/ LGBTQIA/ Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads Rating: 4.34

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Source: Paperback (REPOSED Book box)

Synopsis:

Ageing and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life.

When she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jump start her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950’s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80’s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

My Review:

I have heard so much about this book so I was very excited to receive it in my first REPOSED book box in May. Now that I am sitting down to write the review I almost feel that anything I say couldn’t do this book justice but I’ll give it my best shot.

I loved Evelyn Hugo! Yes her actions were at times questionable and she definitely didn’t have remorse for some of them but I still loved her. Evelyn was ruthless, formidable, candid, strong willed and determined and her character captivated me from the beginning.

I liked how the story was told and split into the sections for the different husbands, it was a breeze to read. I’d say to myself just one more chapter and before I knew it I had moved onto husband number three. Of all the husbands I enjoyed reading Don Adler’s story the most and seeing how his character changed throughout their marriage. My favourite husband though had to be Harry. He was such as sweetheart and whilst it wasn’t the perfect marriage it was her most successful. Both parties got what they wanted from it and up until that point I think it was the happiest that Evelyn had been.

I thoroughly enjoyed Evelyn and Cecelia’s story and again I felt that I got a glimpse of what it was like in the 50’s. It must of been very hard for people like Cecelia, Harry and John to try and be true to themselves, in a world where they weren’t accepted. I feel like things have changed drastically for the LGBTQIA group in recent years and whilst we still have some way to go, when I read about the treatment of people in the 50/60’s I almost found it hard to believe.

Monique was a very interesting character. From the beginning I kept wondering why was she chosen and what was her connection with Evelyn. Taylor Jenkins Reid does a great job of keeping that part of the story line going by dropping subtle hints without it being irritating. I think it was the anticipation of knowing that kept me motivated during the read. I surprisingly hadn’t guessed the connection and so I thought it was quite original and well thought out. At the start of the book Monique was a bit of a wall flower and needed some oomph behind her. Luckily Evelyn was there to give her a boost and by the end Monique was much stronger and feistier. She had made important decisions and taken control of her life choices, she’d almost embodied some of Evelyn’s characteristics.

Without a doubt by the end I was emotional. Whilst I knew it was coming the ending still hit me in the gut but it was the perfect. A word of advice, make sure you read the last quarter of this book in the comforts of your own home, locked away from any prying eyes with the tissues at the ready! Evelyn, Harry, Cecelia and Monique are characters that will be memorable for a long time.

This book marks my 6th read for the Read a Rainbow challenge (green cover) and number 14 in the 20 Books of Summer 20! I can’t believe how far through my challenges I’ve got this month and something tells me this is my year for reading.

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