Why you need to read ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ now
The weather is starting to cool, the days are getting shorter, and the summer blockbuster season is over in the theaters. As pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween decorations, and sweaters start to get unpacked, it is clear that summer is winding down.
Now that those typical outdoor activities popular with the warmer months are beginning to become less of an option, lists are starting to form to pass the time on the cooler days when you’re trapped in the house.
Whether you’re the kind of person that makes lists of movies, a series you’re planning to binge, or a list of novels you’re planning to pick up, there is one book that needs to push its way into your fall plans.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Monique Grant isn’t exactly peaking in her life. Her marriage has fallen apart, causing her husband to leave her. Her career as a magazine reporter is going nowhere. She doesn’t feel as though she could fall any further. That is when she is requested, no . . . demanded by a Hollywood legend to write her biography.
Why her? Why now? Whatever the reason, Monique is determined to make this opportunity the one that turns her life around.
An aging & reclusive Hollywood icon named Evelyn Hugo has finally decided to tell her life story. She’s ready to reveal the truth of her exciting, tragic, and scandalous life, and only Monique will do as her speakerphone to the world.
Evelyn spins a tale of ruthless ambition, friendship, love, and unmatched hardships, with Monique listening intently. The journalist begins to feel a genuine connection to the starlet, and as the story spins on, she discovers that their lives intertwine in tragic and unforgettable ways.
This story follows two separate protagonists and two different timelines, both drawing you in and invoking the kind of emotions that only the best writers of our time, like this book’s author, Taylor Jenkins Reid, can find in their readers.
The first protagonist is the titular Evelyn Hugo. Her story is told in flashbacks, beginning in the 1950s when she marries her first husband to get out of her small town and make it to Hollywood. Her recounting of the events in her thirty years of showbiz, forbidden love, and of course, her seven husbands.
The second protagonist is the recorder of those stories, Monique, and her story is told in the present time. She plays the same role as the readers do through her own hardships, listening to the story in real-time and relating to the difficulties and the lessons learned.
“I spent half my time loving her and the other half hiding how much I loved her.”
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a powerful story about race (both protagonists are biracial), sexuality (Hugo describes a forbidden love she felt), misogyny (a biracial woman trying to thrive in an industry dominated by white men), and being forced to live a life hiding who you are to conform to social norms.
The true meaning behind this book is life is too damn short to live it for someone else. It is too short to hide who you are, to hide who you love, and to pretend you are someone that others will accept. At its core, this book is about discovering who you are and never letting anyone take that away from you. It encourages you to live your life your way, avoiding regrets when your life is winding down.
“Heartbreak is loss. Divorce is a piece of paper.”
The lesson learned in this book is about perspective. First, understanding what others go through, you may never see. Hugo is a Hollywood icon that seems to live a life of privilege & luxury, while underneath, she struggles and faces many of the same hardships as others. The other perspective is that only you can decide if these hardships & heartbreaks will break you.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo needs to be on your to-read list, no matter what kind of list you’re making to fill your time. There’s something in it for everyone, but mostly lessons that all of us can take to our daily lives. Grab your flannel, your hot cocoa, and sit next to the fire. Let Taylor Jenkins Reid transport you back to the heights of Hollywood stardom and enthrall you through all of life’s emotions.