Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Evelyn Hugo is a famous actress and she became a celebrity icon because of her incredible life from the 50’s to the 80’s. She was not only famous because of her roles, but also due to her seven marriages. She has always carefully hidden her private life, but now she decides that it is time for the public to really get to know her and who she really is (was).
But, she is willing to share her life story with only one person in particular – with a fairly unknown magazine reporter Monique. Monique doesn’t have an idea why she is the one. The only things she knows is, that this is a chance fo her life.
Evelyn Hugo, glamorous icon, decides to share her intimate life with the public. She demands that the only person she’s willing to share all aspects of her glamorous and scandalous life is unknown magazine reporter Monique. First, Monique thinks that she’ll just write an article, but soon she’s surprised by Evelyn suggestion about exclusive biography offer.
Monique, who is currently in the phase of divorce from her husband, naturally wants to know more about Evelyn and her loves. The book is formed of different parts – the Monique story and her visits to Evelyn. Longer chapters where each one is dedicated to one of Evelyn’s husbands. And short newspaper articles, which are presenting the media’s response to Evelyn’s circumstances at a given moment. Because of the structure, the book is even more remarkable. But the plot itself is the one which makes this book so incredible.
The main point of the story is, that Evelyn Hugo, a sex symbol and celebrity icon, wants to reveal her private life to the public. Through decades of acting career, she gained an intangible celebrity status, men wanted her, women wanted to be like her. Yet, was Evelyn Hugo really what the public saw? At the very beginning of her story, we quickly find out that she wasn’t. Public image is very different from that of private life. We realize that she is not as flawless as one may think. That she used many tricks to succeed and many more to stay on the top. What did she have to sacrifice in her way, and was it (at all) worth it at the end? Her life story is even more interesting since it begins in the 1950s and is then a representation of different times.
The book also exposes how the media present their truth, and how easily they can be manipulated. Of course, the advantage is that Evelyn’s story takes place in the past, before the time of the Internet. Now, it would be harder for Evelyn to manipulate with media or hide some stuff she’s done.
A character of Monique was not my favorite and her personal story didn’t interest me. And besides, she’s put into a shade of beautifully designed character of Evely Hugo. I am not sure whether this was authors intention, to expose Evelyn even more, or is Monique’s character simply weak. Overall, all the characters in Evelyn’s story were astounding and truly vivid.
This book really surprised me in a good way, because at first, I didn’t have the intention to read it. I thought that this story wouldn’t be something I was interested in. But it is beautifully written, the plot is interesting and full of twists. Evely Hugo’s life was not a fairy tale, though it seemed so in public. When reading, it’s interesting to think about what Evelyn has done for fame and who was using who – all her husbands her, or was it opposite? And, was it worth it?
Great book and I highly recommend it.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Did you read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!