“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel” is a book written by Erika Kohl. In this novel, the protagonist, Evelyn Hugo, is a famous and wealthy American heiress living in Paris. When she was pregnant with her son and heir to her fortune, she married seven men that seemed to be the most suitable for her. Each husband had certain qualities that made them suitable for Evelyn’s life. However, she soon found out that none of them knew how to truly support her in all aspects of life.
From the Publisher
Kindle Customer –
I read reviews about this book before I decided to read it, both negative and positive. After reading this book, I felt that the people who thought this book was not that interesting and not worth their time must be individuals from a younger generation. I may well be incorrect in that assessment but what was contained in this work was a representation of the social morality at that time period.I found the writing to be insightful as to how a woman had to use what physical traits seen as outstanding in different ways to get her foot in the door to have a chance at becoming famous.Sexuality isn’t something you can easily quantify. Slapping labels on others is short sighted and we love whoever we love often to our own surprise. I’ve seen wonderful marriages which were that way because they were kindred spirits.I really enjoyed reading this book because it was honest to the relationships it portrayed and the self examination people go through in an attempt to justify their decisions.Readers, please remember this was written about a specific time period and don’t judge it by how things are today, it was a different, more judgmental, and harsher time when it came to who you could or should love.
Sarah Lindenn –
Wow. Simply stunning. This book has been all the rage for a few years, always on loan at the library, ridiculously long wait times for the book. I finally had some free time and decided to just buy it.It did not disappoint.I want to be Evelyn Hugo. These characters are real and raw and a true depiction of what being human is. It’s messy, it doesn’t always come easy and we seem to make it worse for ourselves. But Evelyn is fierce, she is honest and up until the very end she does all she can to protect and honor those she loved.READ THIS STORY!
lia nelson –
I’d give this a PG-13 rating, it’s paced very well. The main characters are well developed, there are twists and the ending is satisfying. This is a solid read. After reading this book, I immediately went online to find out what others said, I was surprised by the amount of negative reviews. This is more than a “book tok”/ trendy book. It has relatable characters, thought invoking themes and beautiful writing; there are so many quotes that made my heart ache.Many described it as predictable and drawn out when I found it to be a natural development of the story that left no plot holes. I believe it is a very exciting fleshed out story that kept me immersed for hours and I can’t wait to see the movie adaptation.
Starting at the young age of fourteen and ending when she’s seventy-nine (when we first meet Evelyn), Evelyn Hugo has gone from bombshell, to sexpot, to Oscar winner, to civil rights supporter. Evelyn knew what she wanted from an early age—to get out of Hell’s Kitchen and away from her abusive father, and to be the biggest star anyone has ever heard of. And she accomplished that! Partially because of her talent, partially because she knows her worth and is unafraid to get dirty in order to achieve her goals, and partially because there is no one better at using the press and scandals to serve their own interests. Evelyn is both a force to be reckoned with, but also a deeply flawed and lonely. Shown through the perspective of Evelyn as she dictates her memoir to Monique, the reader is taken back to the early days of Hollywood to watch Evelyn’s rise, and her stumbles, to and through stardom. For a story about a Hollywood starlet, this book is LAYERED, and I don’t think I was expecting the level of depth it had, even though many reviews warned me to expect the unexpected with this story.In order to become Evelyn Hugo, Hollywood’s biggest star, Evelyn had to let go of who she was; erasing her identity to be what Hollywood wanted her to be. She knew and accepted this, always, but it does break your heart a little to watch her identity get stripped away so that she could be the blonde bombshell the screen so loved. The things Evelyn hid or changed, often denying the realest parts of herself in the process, really hit me in the feels, and there were parts at the end of the book that had me welling up with tears if that tells you anything. I won’t say more because the way the story unfolds is really lovely with getting to know all 7 of Evelyn’s husbands and the roles they played in her life, but I will say that I LOVED the inclusion of the fake articles to show the juxtaposition between what was Evelyn’s reality versus what the public got to see, and how the press portrayed her in return.Honestly, there was very little I did not like about this book, or its story. It flowed beautifully and, while not necessarily one of those books you couldn’t put down (I had no issues stopping in reading for the night) it was never dull. It had a smooth, and highly enjoyable writing style. However, my only issues were that sometimes, with the book being told in 1st person, Monique didn’t always feel that distinct to me from Evelyn. Which may be mostly because we don’t really get to know Monique at the same level at which we get to know Evelyn, though I did enjoy their relationship and how they were able to help each other, even when that got . . . tricky, to say the least. But I also didn’t like Celia for a majority of the book, either. I found her to be so frustrating at times, that I often wondered why Evelyn even bothered having her around. Thankfully that changed toward the end, but still.But, all in all, I LOVED this book and this story. It was so empowering, watching Evelyn be so unashamed to own her beauty, her sex appeal, her confidence, and to be the ball-buster she was, so unafraid of telling people what she wants, what she deserves—all because she knows her worth. I didn’t know how much I needed a story, to see a woman like that, until I read this book. But I also loved that the author didn’t shy away from Evelyn’s flaws, or the fact that, for a lot of Evelyn’s life, she was deeply lonely. Evelyn wasn’t perfect, but she didn’t let that be an excuse for anyone to treat her poorly. I will say there are some instances of spousal abuse in this book though, so just be forewarned if that kind of trauma is sensitive for you. I thought the author handled those topics amazingly well, but I’ve also never experienced such things for myself, either. Because this book brought tears to my eyes with that whole last third of the story, it easily gets 5 stars from me! This is such a satisfying, and empowering book!
Melanie (meltotheany) –
“I spent half my time loving her and the other half hiding how much I loved her.”This is one of the best books I’ve ever had the privilege to read. It is probably in the top five for best books I’ve ever read in my entire life. I have been looking for a book like this my entire life, and no combination of words I’m about to type, and you’re about to read, is going to do this masterpiece justice. But I will say that Gabby, Joce, Amelie, and Elyse were all right, and I’m so happy I listened to them, because this book is worth every single ounce of hype.And when I say that this book is lifechanging, I truly mean it. This book is sold as a historical romance, where you learn about a fictional, famous, old Hollywood actress and all her marriages. What you get is a book that stars a bisexual, Cuban woman who was never allowed to talk about the love of her life; her wife. And when I say I cried during this book, I truly mean that I probably need to buy a new copy because I was the biggest mess you’ve ever seen.“And it will be the tragedy of my life that I cannot love you enough to make you mine. That you cannot be loved enough to be anyone’s.”On top of this being a powerful book about race, sexuality, misogyny, and having to conform to societies norms, the true meaning I took from this book is that life is short, so damn short, and we shouldn’t spend it pretending to be something we aren’t. And we shouldn’t spend it doing anything less than loving the people who are worthy and deserving of our love.“I didn’t need boys in order to feel good. And that realization gave me great power.”We follow Evelyn from the very start; losing her mother very young, her body developing very quickly, noticing others noticing her developing body, marrying a man so she can leave the dead-end city she grew up in, so she can become something more. Evelyn is unapologetic with her actions, and it is one of the most empowering things I’ve ever read. She plays so many more parts than the roles she is cast in. And Evelyn learns really quickly how to play each and every man she is forced to interact with, and she quickly learns what she can gain from each and every one of them, too.This story is told from two different timelines and two different points of view. One from Monique Grant, who is a biracial (white and African-American) woman who is going through a fresh divorce and trying to make something of herself in the journalism field. And her life changes the day her editor tells her how Evelyn Hugo is demanding her, and only her, to write something for her.“Heartbreak is loss. Divorce is a piece of paper.”The other timeline(s) are all the different times in Evelyn’s life, and the different seven husbands that she had, while she is recounting the events that lead her to be telling Monique this story. Evelyn has lived a very full life, and is in her late seventies now, and is finally ready to talk about her life. But the entire book we are guessing why she has chosen only Monique for this job.“Make them pay you what they would pay a white man.”If you guys have been following my reviews, you’ll probably know that I talk about found family and how important it is to me a lot, but The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the epitome of how beautiful a found family can be. Evelyn and Harry’s friendship in this was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read in my entire reading life.“When you write the ending, Monique, make sure the reader understands that all I was ever really looking for was family. Make sure it’s clear that I found it. Make sure they know that I am heartbroken without it.”And the romance? The true romance in this book is the most romantic thing I have ever read in my entire life. And you guys know I’ve read a ton of romances, but they are all lesser to this. Every single one of them can’t compare with the romance in this book. I feel like every time I’ve used the word “perfect” to describe something that wasn’t the romance in this book, then I used the word wrong.“Please never forget that the sun rises and sets with your smile. At least to me it does. You’re the only thing on this planet worth worshipping.”How many Evelyn and Celias are there in the world? How many are still playing the role that Evelyn was forced to play? I cry for every single person who must hide who they are, and who they want to love. And this book talks about many big things in LGBTQIAP+ history; from the Stonewall riots to the disgusting Reagan administration, but life still isn’t anywhere close to equal in 2018. The prejudices, the discrimination, the virus/syndrome blaming, the looks I’ve experienced holding a girl’s hand while walking into a restaurant? Those are still in 2018, in the United States, but people act like none of those things exists because marriage is legalized, begrudgingly. I’m not writing this review to get on my soapbox, but I promise, we have a lot more work to do. And this book, this book lit a fire under me.I personally identify as pansexual, but I felt like the bisexual rep in this was a tier above anything my eyes have ever seen. Seeing Evelyn love all the parts of her, and all the different parts of her love, was something so awe-inspiring. I am still so overwhelmed with feelings, but if you identify as bi or pan, this is a love letter to you, I promise.“I was a lesbian when she loved me and a straight woman when she hated me.”This book also focuses a huge importance on motherhood throughout the entirety of this book, and then I read the acknowledgement and started weeping all over again. Taylor Jenkins Reid was able to evoke the strongest emotions from me, and I just pray that things will be different for the generation of kids being raised right now.This was the first thing I’ve read by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but I will buy every single new thing she produces. The writing was so lyrical and addicting. I mean, I have a quote between almost every paragraph. This whole book deserves to be highlighted. The characters, well, my mind has now forever imagined that these are real people now, so there is that. The topics, themes, and discussions are beyond important. This book just makes me feel so passionately. This book is one of the most empowering pieces of literature I’ve ever consumed. And I am not the same person I was before this book.“I told her every single day that her life had been the world’s greatest gift to me, that I believed I was put on earth not to make movies or wear emerald-green gowns and wave at crowds but to be her mother.”If you guys ever take a recommendation from me; please have it be The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Please, I’m actually begging you. I promise, this book is lifechanging, and I equally promise you that this book changed mine. There is magic between these four-hundred-pages. Pure magic. This story is addicting, enthralling, and so important. And if you’re an Evelyn, in 2018, I see you, but I hope it doesn’t take you as long as it took her to be happy. This will forever be one of the best books of my life, and I’ll cherish it forever.“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is “You’re safe with me”—that’s intimacy.”Trigger/Content Warnings: death of a loved one, death of a child, talk of suicide, unhealthy dieting, underage sex with an adult, abortion, talk of miscarriage, a lot of physical abuse, cheating, dunk driving, and homophobic slurs.
Let me start by saying that this is the second book I’ve read by TJR, the first being Daisy Jones & The Six. I didn’t know much about Daisy and the same can be said for Evelyn. It’s true. I’ve managed to avoid all spoilers for a book that’s five years old. And boy am I glad I did! The last 100 pages or so had me in tears. I know most of you have read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by this point, but in the event you haven’t I don’t want to spoil anything for you.TSHOEH is one big dichotomy of many different traits and emotions: good/bad; love/hate; love/loss; success/failure; heartwarming/heartbreaking; ego/humility; forgiveness/retribution; used/user; truth/lies. It’s all of these things and more. In a nutshell, the book is exactly what the title implies, but it’s so much more. It’s a love story, but probably not the one you’re expecting. It also has a little bit of mystery one that’s seeded throughout. I loved every word of TSHOEH and from here on out TJR will be an auto-buy for me!Evelyn Hugo, the book and the person are captivating and you want to know more and we have Taylor Jenkins Reid to thank for it. Reid is a masterful storyteller who makes you believe all of these characters are real people. And they are in a sense. Her characters may be famous, but they all suffer from the same issues and problems we all do. Sure she writes about fictional characters based on an amalgamation of real people, but she does it with such care and detail that it has you heading to the Goog, just to check and be sure that you are in fact reading fiction.Why does it work? To quote the fictionally famous Penny Lane “Famous people are just more interesting.” I highly recommend this book, I read it in a day and a half.Even though this is a work of fiction, it pulls back the curtain of Hollywood, old Hollywood specifically. However, I suspect a lot of these behind the scenes power play machinations still happen regularly, even in 2022 and I find that to be very, very sad.
Danielle Hewitt –
This was my favorite kind of story and I loved every second.Give me all the old Hollywood and vintage glamour. All of it. I can never get enough. And that’s only a fraction of the greatness of this one.I gobbled this up in a few reading sessions, finishing it on a flight home the other night; where I sat with tears falling down my face and only a cocktail napkin to assist me in not causing a scene with my sniffling.The story touched me in a profoundly personal way. It’s now a forever favorite on my shelf.Evelyn Hugo is a brilliant character. Powerful, unflinching, and uniquely inspiring. Monique Grant is perfectly relatable for me – a 30-something writer navigating her recently failed marriage.The underlying theme is wildly present in my own life and too good to spoil. But I will say that the novel is credited as a gift to the LGBTQ+ community and indeed it is. The all too often ignored letter of that acronym placed front and center. A period piece that illustrates the challenges faced in the past, and how the overcoming is and always will be a valuable and important effort in this world.There is love and loss, passion and betrayal, life and death. A telling of the conflict in all of us between what is good, bad, right, and wrong. The way we become committed to preserving ourselves and our loved ones, and the choices we make to see those efforts through. Decisions that are at times heartbreaking, other times exhilarating, and often every feeling in between.So freaking good. Five stars for me. And a poignant reminder that love is love.
Loved the gradual reveal of who Evelyn truly was and how her love for Celia motivated so many of her actions. And I loved the interplay of the tabloid headlines throughout the book because it really highlights the disconnect between how things look on the surface and the truth behind them—so much more nuanced and complex.Evelyn as a protagonist reminded me a lot of how I felt about Daisy Jones, from TJR’s other hit, a character that you both love and hate at the same time, but ultimately cannot help but sympathize with.
Amazon Customer –
“Evelyn always leaves you hoping you’ll get just a little bit more. And she always denies you.”In a stunning novel about love, hate, and perception, Taylor Jenkins Reid mesmerized me from the start. In a compelling tale about what you would do for true love, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo may be my new go-to book to recommend to fellow book lovers.After being recommended this book to me numerous times, even with a huge TBR pile, I knew I had to get it finally and immediately read it – and everyone was correct! There is just something about Reid’s writing that pulls you in to the untouchable Hollywood movie glamour, describing the movie lots, gorgeous dresses, and the behind-the-scenes politics that goes into getting the roles of a lifetime.Evelyn Hugo is one of the most famous actresses in the world but has been a recluse for years after being widowed by her seventh husband. Finally ready to tell her full story, she reaches out to Monique Grant – a magazine reporter – to divulge what the public and media has always desperately wanted to know. But why pick Monique?I was raptured by Evelyn’s life; told in segments paralleled by the man she was currently married to. Her character is brave, unscrupulous, and unapologetic about what she has had to do to have a successful career. We quickly learn that life isn’t all about what is being spoon-fed to the media and that famous people are not afforded any privacy at the chance of selling a story: “The media are going to tell whatever story they want to tell.”I was just as invested in Monique’s story as well, which Reid carefully intertwines while not distracting from Evelyn’s tale. And Celia and Harry’s characters add to the Hollywood Era and make their way into your heart as well. But Evelyn doesn’t let us forget that: “You’re not really famous if anybody still likes you.”I truthfully had no idea what to expect when picking up this novel, but it was not this – this book left you wanting more while still feeling somehow like you lived it. We learn that both love and “hate is not uncomplicated” and not everything is how it meets the eye. Heavy topics were discussed with a certain beauty and ease that made you feel every emotion. This novel is simply put, a masterpiece! 5 stars!“Relationships are complex … [p]eople are messy, and love can be ugly. I’m inclined to always err on the side of compassion.”Please follow me at @NinaNeedsNovels.
ashley obrien –
It took me a while to purchase this book even with the excellent reviews- it just wasn’t a storyline that really peaked my interest, but after the first couple of chapters I quickly changed my tune. This was one of the best books I’ve read this year- made me feel all the feels. It was an easy, quick read and while the ending was a little predictable, it by no means resulted in a dull experience along the way as the storytelling is phenomenal. Excited to read more from Taylor Jenkins Reid.