The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Read Time:4 Minute, 9 Second

In a surprising turn of events, aging Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo chooses unknown reporter Monique Grant to write her captivating and scandalous biography. With her own life in disarray, Monique seizes the opportunity to revive her career. As Evelyn reveals her journey from 1950s Los Angeles to her tumultuous relationships and eventual retirement, a profound bond forms between the two women. However, as the story unfolds, Monique realizes the tragic intertwining of their lives, leaving her forever changed.

Book review of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, takes readers on an authentic journey through the life of Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo. Through the lens of aspiring journalist Monique Grant, we delve into the secrets and scandals that shaped Evelyn’s career. What sets this book apart is its exploration of morally complex characters, particularly Evelyn herself, who navigates the murky waters of fame with unapologetic ambition.

Jenkins Reid skillfully develops the relationships between Evelyn and secondary characters like Harry Cameron and Celia St. James, capturing the highs and lows of their connections. The setting of the story, with its backdrop of Old Hollywood glamour, comes to life through newspaper clippings and references to iconic figures like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

The novel intertwines two timelines and perspectives, as Monique Grant, a biracial woman striving to establish herself in journalism, recounts her encounters with Evelyn Hugo. The mysterious question of why Evelyn handpicked Monique adds intrigue and keeps readers guessing. Meanwhile, Evelyn shares her captivating tale of love and sacrifice, narrating the events that led her to reveal her life’s secrets to Monique. The romance portrayed in the story surpasses all others, evoking a sense of true passion and connection that is unmatched in the genre. Jenkins Reid’s portrayal of the relationship between Evelyn and her seven husbands is so vivid that it feels like reading about real-life Hollywood icons.

One of the book’s strengths lies in its ability to create a non-fiction-like atmosphere. The level of detail invested in every aspect, from the characters to the setting, makes the narrative feel grounded and believable. Evelyn is a flawed yet captivating character, unafraid to pursue her ambitions at any cost. Her unapologetic nature may frustrate readers at times, but it ultimately adds to her allure and makes her an unforgettable protagonist.

Throughout the story, the reader becomes deeply invested in Evelyn’s journey, which feels like a true account of a Hollywood star’s rise and fall. The bittersweet arc of her romance, particularly her decision to prioritize love over fame, resonates on a profound level. As the two timelines converge, the true reason behind Evelyn’s choice of Monique as her biographer is revealed, leaving a lasting impact.

Final verdict

In conclusion, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo offers a refreshing take on the celebrity biographical genre, infusing it with depth, complexity, and a touch of glamour. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s exceptional character development, meticulous attention to detail, and the exploration of love, ambition, and sacrifice make this novel a standout. Whether you’re drawn to Hollywood history, complex characters, or timeless romance, this book is sure to leave an indelible mark on your reading experience.

Our Score


  • Complex and Compelling Characters: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo features deeply layered and morally ambiguous characters, particularly Evelyn Hugo herself. The complex portrayal of characters adds depth and authenticity to the story, making them relatable and intriguing.
  • Engrossing Storytelling: Taylor Jenkins Reid’s storytelling prowess shines in this novel. The dual timelines, the exploration of Evelyn’s life, and the mystery surrounding her choice of Monique as her biographer create a captivating narrative that keeps readers hooked from start to finish.
  • Authenticity and Attention to Detail: The book’s depiction of Old Hollywood and the entertainment industry feels incredibly authentic. The meticulous attention to detail, including newspaper clippings and references to iconic figures, immerses readers in the glamorous and scandalous world of Evelyn Hugo.


  • Lack of Diversity in Perspectives: While the story delves into the multifaceted life of Evelyn Hugo, the narrative predominantly focuses on the experiences and perspectives of white characters. Greater diversity in representation could have enriched the overall storytelling and offered a broader range of voices.
  • Pacing and Length: Some readers may find the pacing of the novel to be slow at times, particularly during the detailed descriptions and flashbacks. Additionally, the book’s length may feel overwhelming for those seeking a shorter, more concise read.
  • Limited Exploration of Social Issues: Although the novel touches upon topics such as sexism and racism within the entertainment industry, the exploration of these issues remains somewhat superficial. A deeper examination and analysis of these social issues could have added more depth and resonance to the story.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoPublisher ‏ : ‎ Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (May 29, 2018)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 400 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1501161938
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1501161933
Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 years and up
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.9 ounces
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.31 x 1.1 x 8.25 inches

About Article Author

Christopher Hill

Christopher Hill has worked in the publishing industry for more than 15 years for both international and national media. When he is not reading, he enjoys spending time with his three dogs, whom he considers his most loyal reading companions.
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