Friday, October 20, 2023

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I would've missed this one but for book club, which ulitmately decided was a little too racy for discussion. I was nearly 75% done with the book at that point and "flipping pages" to learn how the last two husbands were procured. 

This story sucks you in. Seven husbands is equal to Henry the 8ths six wives. You just have to know what happened, and if Evelyn ever found true love. 

Well, yes, she did. In more than one instance. 

But who she loves, how, and why is what kept me wondering, "What happens next?" 

If  you pay close attention, you can see the trail of breadcrumbs Ms. Reid wisely, stealthily, and intentionally drops on the pages. That is brilliant writing. 

This book does deal with themes some readers will find uncomfortable, inappropriate, and not to their taste. This isn't a sweet/clean and wholesome romance, my usual genre. Across the pages Evelyn explores her sex life, bisexuality, trauma from abusive relationships, and defines what love and family mean and look like to her. If any of these topics are triggers, you should skip this novel. 

Still I felt Ms. Reid handled the subject matter tactfully, without being graphic or explicit, but getting the points across clearly. 

The narration is excellent. 


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 jump-start 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. 

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