Reviews

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

From the author of Daisy Jones & The Six—an entrancing novel “that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all” (Kirkus Reviews), in which a legendary film actress reflects on her relentless rise to the top and 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 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.

About the Author

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, and two other novels. She lives in Los Angeles.

My Review

WOW, just WOW and WOW again.  Firstly, I read and loved Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest book Daisy Jones and The Six (see my review here) so when I had an audible credit I chose The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and I can’t begin to put into words what a brilliant decision that was, however because this is my blog and you are expecting a review I will try and compose myself.

Reading a book and listening to a book are two entirely different experiences to a reader/listener as in the first you create the voices and accents and read at your own pace and style, but when you listen to a book, the narrator becomes the character(s) and their voice tells you the story the way the author wanted you to hear it.

Before I begin my review about the book and the storyline and the characters I need to tell you that I listen to at least 12 audible books a year and this is without doubt, my favourite audible of 2019 and the narrators Alma Cuervo and Julia Whelan didn’t just bring the characters to life they made them 100% real in my mind and already I miss them and feel bereft that I won’t hear Evelyn speak again.

If you like glamour, epic love stories, tales of Hollywood in the 50’s and 60’s, fame, fortune and having everything money can buy, then you will LOVE this book.  Evelyn Hugo was THE Hollywood star of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s – with undeniable beauty, Oscar nominations, wealth beyond even her wildest dreams and a stage presence that makes every woman want to be her and every man fall in love with her and now in she is coming out of her self imposed exile to grant one final interview.

Monique Grant is a journalist, currently going through some personal family problems and an unimpressive career slump so when Evelyn insists that only Monique interview her she is intrigued and excited as this could be the opportunity to relaunch her flagging career.  However, everything is not how it seems when Evelyn tells Monique that she wants her to write her biography, warts and all and publish it after her death.

The story is then told through alternating characters; Monique’s view of Evelyn now and dealing with her own family issues and Evelyn who is retelling her life story starting at the age of 14 and slowing bringing the reader (listener) up to date through her various film roles, husbands, relationships.

This book oozes glamour and Evelyn is the most incredible female character and I wish she were real.   Honestly, I don’t want to keep harping on, but I absolutely LOVED this book, and I’m so upset I finished it.  This would make the most incredible film.  Read it / Listen to it and thank me later.

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