The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

By Kendra Sue - October 28, 2019

There is so much to say about this book I don't even know where to begin. First of all, I'm surprised at how fast I ended up reading this book. All things aside, audiobooks are my jam and I wish they'd sponsor me some day (just kidding, audible, don't do that.)

A brief synopsis:
Monique works for a company called Vivant, a top selling magazine that has asked to feature Evelyn Hugo, actress, model and societal queen, for an interview and a photoshoot. They've asked Monique specifically to do the piece on her and when she begins to interview her she finds out she's had an ulterior motive all along. Evelyn Hugo doesn't want to give the story to Vivant, she wants to give it directly to Monique.

Surprised at this, Monique questions the story from beginning to end, why in the world would this world famous actress want me to write her life story, from beginning to end? All the dirty details, down to the affairs she had with different people throughout her life.

My thoughts:
This book captured my attention from the moment I started reading and listening to it. If you've read Daisy Jones and The Six then you'll know Taylor Jenkins-Reed's oral historical fiction captures you in such a deep trance it's hard to get out of. One of the days I read I read for a solid five or six hours at a time just to get through a big chunk of the book. Later that day, I finished it.

Evelyn Hugo comes across as bratty at times, but not in the way you might think. I was in love with her attitude for much of the book because she was never afraid to get what she wanted. After being screwed over by Sunset productions I would have done whatever I could to make a new name for myself as well.

Her relationship with Celia throughout the book gave me so much anxiety, however. How off and on they were, how they fought and argued over Evelyn's career and what she would do to make that career flourish. In my opinion, we're all our own people, a relationship doesn't change that. And the way Celia would always bring up "you were never mine" kind of rubbed me the wrong way at times. No person belongs to you.

Their communication lacked much of the time because you could tell they feared telling each other their big secrets. They were scared to get with new people after their multiple breakups, because in the world of Hollywood, someone would always find out, leading the story of their lives back to each other.

It made me realize how toxic Hollywood is, and how even given the chance I probably wouldn't want to be anywhere near the Hollywood spotlight.

I give this book a solid 4.5/5 and maybe even pushing it to a 5/5 rating. I realize it was the point, but the biphobia really got to me sometimes. Why can't we have a character at times who's bisexual and no one questions it? They go with the flow and not have to bring up "well maybe she's a lesbian." Monique was old enough and probably educated enough to know the difference, instead of just assuming. But it was a good anecdote to include people also assume a lot about her just because she is of a mixed race. That part of the story I can get behind.

The book follows a lot of LGBT+ issues that you see in a day to day life, but you also see it from the time period it's portrayed in, and it's absolutely heartbreaking. I heard there's a Queer Lit Readathon coming up in December and I definitely recommend this one for anyone who wants an LGBT+ book to read.

I would recommend this to anyone who fell in love with the oral history of Daisy Jones and The Six because I know that's what made me initially want to read the book!

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