The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, is a historical fiction novel set in the mid to late 1900s. The novel tells the tale of a famous Hollywood actress, Evelyn Hugo, as she narrates her story to a journalist. Evelyn Hugo is seventy-nine and has made the decision to finally open up about her mysterious and scandalous rise to fame, including the stories of her seven husbands. She chooses to tell her story to Monique Grant, a relatively unknown magazine journalist. Monique doesn't know much about Evelyn Hugo, as Evelyn belonged to a generation before Monique's, so she decides to start with the question of "Who was Evelyn Hugo's real love?" As Monique gets to know Evelyn, she learns a fundamental truth about her: Evelyn Hugo always has an agenda. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a story about friendship, romance, lies, and, most importantly, ambition.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a fun book to read. It's has a promising premise, but to me, itis not executed well. The novel switches between Monique's and Evelyn's points of view and, despite being short and few, I did not enjoy reading about Monique's perspective. The way the novel is written felt repetitive and drawn out. The answer to the question "Who was Evelyn Hugo's real love?" felt, personally, rather obvious from the very beginning of the novel. Additionally, the plot twist at the end of the book felt desperate and could have had a more logical progression than it did. However, I enjoyed the character of Evelyn Hugo. She is confident, unapologetic, and I appreciated that she had flaws. I think that the most compelling aspect of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is that the characters are diverse and the protagonist, Evelyn Hugo, is strong and believable.