The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the fifth novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Since its release in the summer of 2017, it has slowly found a fan base on sites like Tumblr, allowing it to become Reid’s best-known novel.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo tells the story of two different women. One, a queer Cuban-American woman in old Hollywood on a path to stardom and her ultimate quest for love; the other, a young and unknown writer for a popular magazine.
Evelyn is a reclusive former movie star who hasn’t given an interview since she retired. That is until she offers to do one for Vivant magazine if they send her a specific writer. Monique the young reporter is more than willing to jump at the opportunity. What follows is a touching novel about true love, heartbreak, and fixing the mistakes of our past.
“You could be a nobody living in a cardboard box, and I’d still love you”
This novel is incredibly well written. Taylor Jenkins Reid has a way of making the characters leap off the page. The story starts off pretty fast and doesn’t slow down until the very last page. There are many secondary characters in Evelyn’s story but none of them feel unnecessary or one dimensional. Taylor’s way of describing people, places, and things in bold detail help paint a very vivid picture of the world Evelyn is living in. Setting up the story as Evelyn telling Monique her life story also helps to erase any of the confusion the reader might feel about some details of Evelyn’s life.
The only qualm I have with this book is that there were certain things that are discussed but never followed up on. Now, this is more of a personal pet peeve because some of those stories weren’t essential to the plot they were just interesting. Many people will probably appreciate that Taylor is very focused as an author and doesn’t add in thousands of unnecessary secondary plots.
The Goodreads and Amazon descriptions for this book do not mention many of the things that made me fall madly in love with this book. I assume this is in an effort to conceal some very major twists and turns so I won’t discuss them here. However, I will say that The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has a surprising amount of representation in it. There’s a very large chance that you will see yourself represented in this novel in some way.
In the end, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo turned out to be a book with much more substance than I initially thought. I devoured this novel over the course of a day and have since read it three more times. I know many people wouldn’t pick this novel up solely off of the strength of its back cover summary, but I promise if you like untraditional love stories then this novel is for you.
I would rate The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo 5/5 stars because it surprised me, inspired me, and made me laugh.
Photo via Bustle