From Taylor Jenkins Reid, “a genius when it comes to stories about life and love” (Redbook), comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.
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 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 jumpstart 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 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, 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.
THIS BOOK! So I kept seeing this book around and thought yeah, classic Hollywood style faux memoir/tale, it’s my thing but meh, not now. I knew it was queerish but not sure how much and sometimes these books get labeled as queer cause the side character’s brother one thought sexy thoughts about a boy, ya know. Then Star (who is delightful) read it and raved about how amazing and wonderful it is! I trust her so I picked it up.
I read this book in 24 hours and wanted to stay up way too late to finish it! It was amazing and wonderful. Evelyn Hugo is an aged actress in similar ranks of Marilyn Monroe and an absolute powerhouse amazing woman. She is deeply flawed and complex, often puts her career ahead of her heart and learns tough lessons because of that.
At no point does she make excuses or ask to be forgiven by us the readers, nor Monique the writer. Interspersed through the book are news clipping from “gossip” magazines from her heyday! We get pulled deeper and deeper into the tale of Evelyn and her various husbands and who they were and why she married each of them. Alongside this, we hear the very queer life she led and of her great true love.
This is a tale of a bisexual woman who resists to her end being shoved from the heterosexual to lesbian box again and again. A tale of continually making bad mistakes and learning from them, and a love that will not give up. I laughed, I gasped in shock and horror and I cried. Evelyn Hugo might not be a good person but she is an utterly lovable one despite all that.
I leave you with this quote from her:
You do not know how fast you have been running, how hard you have been working, how truly exhausted you are, until somewhat stands behind you and says, “It’s OK, you can fall down now. I’ll catch you.”
I give The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo 5 stars.
The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid was published 13 June 2017 by Washington Square Press. You can purchase your own copy at Mighty Ape, Whitcoulls, Booktopia, Unity Books, or wherever you like to purchase books.