The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (400 pages)
The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo definitely holds more intrigue, entertainment, and manipulation.
A cat may have nine lives, but The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo definitely holds more intrigue, entertainment, and manipulation.
I first heard of author Taylor Jenkins Reid while reading her novel Daisy and the Six (which I also recommend), after it took over my social feed this past spring. After I was done, I Googled her other works and had all but forgotten about this one until a friend passed it to me across the table over lunch a few weeks ago. And thank goodness she did!
Seven Husbands is about Monique, a recently divorced writer who has been hand-picked to write an exclusive cover story about Hollywood legend, Vivian Hugo. Upon meeting the aging movie icon, Vivian shares she’s not interested in a magazine cover story; she’s specifically enlisted Monique to write her tell-all biography.
The catch? She can only publish it once the screen siren has passed.
Once Monique decides to take on the assignment, which could see her earn millions upon publication, she next has to figure out the book’s hook: Who was the love of Vivian’s life?
From there, we’re taken on a journey that begins with 14-year-old Vivian lying about her age to get away from an abusive father and marry Ernie, who whisks her away to the land of her (and her later mother’s) dreams, Hollywood.
After arriving, and a few small breaks, Vivian leaves Ernie. Although she feels awful, she finds herself enthralled with the charismatic (yet terrible ) Don Adler, whom she eventually marries only to find herself the victim of domestic violence. From there, we meet her subsequent husbands… A one-night stand she manipulates into marrying her only to have an annulment performed the next day… A marriage of convenience to her best friend (which also acts as a cover to conceal both of their same-sex relationships). But, with each marriage, there is a constant: her one true love.
As Monique listens intently as the saga unfolds, wondering why Vivian is so intent on sharing her colourful past with her, we not only find out who her one true love has always been, but how entrusting Monique with her biograph is a way for Vivian to make peace with the past, as well as come to terms with the ultimate betrayal that will leave Monique shattered and questioning her whole life.
The Bottom Line: 5/5 Brookie Stars
Heartbreaking and beautiful, Seven Husbands is an epic tale that will take you on a journey through old-world Hollywood. I especially enjoyed the fact that the author included faux news clippings after each chapter (supposedly from the gossip rags at the time) to capitalize on the hysteria and sensationalism that such stars endured. It really leaves you wondering how much of the breaking news we read about today’s celebrities is actually real–and what price they’re willing to pay to stake their claim at the top.
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Andrea Querido is a 40-ish book-loving, introverted word nerd who’s passionate about connection, self-care, personal growth, creating community and, of course, books!
Favourite book: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Favourite brunch spot: Anywhere I don’t have to cook.