on June 13, 2017
Published by Atria Books, Simon and Schuster Genres: Contemporary Women
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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.
Written with Reid’s signature talent for “creating complex, likable characters” (Real Simple), this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.
I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I inhaled The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in one sitting. I was sucked into the glitz of old Hollywood and Evelyn’s rise to the top and, of course, the question burning a hole in my mind: why in the world did she pick Monique to write her story??? Let me tell you, when I found out why, I had a total, “What in the hell did I just read?!?! Did I read that right? I need to go back and read those sentences again!” I never saw THAT twist coming in a million years, so I tip my hat to you, Ms. Jenkins Reid! Anyhoo, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Evelyn. She knew what she wanted and she never let anyone or anything get in her way. Some may have found her manipulative and calculating, but I found her headstrong and determined. While reading, I often wondered if Evelyn were a man in Hollywood in the 50’s would she have had to go to the lengths that she sometimes did, and my answer was always, “Hell no!” We see the Hollywood double standard and Evelyn still rising to the top despite them. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo gives us an inside look at the side of Hollywood and celebrity we don’t normally see. In it, we see the struggles, secrets, double standards, and what life overall was like for a star in Hollywood in the 50’s and beyond. It wasn’t always glitz and glamourous. Evelyn’s story will make you cry, it’ll make you hurt for her because no matter who she hurt to get to the top, she always was the one who ended up hurting, and you may even find yourself rooting for her to get her HEA.