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Release Date: June 17th, 2017
Trigger Warnings: abuse, cheating, alcoholism, drugs, death of a parent, death of a spouse, sexism, homophobia and racism
Publisher: Atria Books
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 jumpstart 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 through the decades—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.
R E V I E W
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo wasn’t a book I wasn’t really expecting to enjoy. I was expecting it to fall into the category of ‘meh’ contemporaries I’ve read and forgotten within the other. That is so wrong. Evelyn Hugo is an icon I will be remembering for many years to come. Evelyn Hugo herself is a queen and someone who deserves countless respect throughout the novel. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t make mistakes though because she does. She is powerful though and fought for every step of her career. Coming from literally nothing and reaching the top is nothing to turn your nose up, no matter the way you achieve that level.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the story fo Evelyn Hugo herself. Her husbands? Irrelevant. This is the story of how an interracial, bisexual woman fought her way to the top and was not afraid to take down who was in her way. Evelyn Hugo fought to reach the peak of her Hollywood career with her body and hiding who she was. She makes countless mistakes that could lead to her downfall but she protects herself. Evelyn comes first. However, as her life draws to a close she wants the people to know the real Evelyn. The one is hidden away. Now that everyone she has ever loved has passed on she can tell the story with it having no ill effect on her or anyone she vowed to protect. She commissions Monique Grant, a journalism writer, to write her biography. The book is full of strength and admiration, from both woman, showing who they really are and learning from each other.
I had seen The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo gaining popularity of Twitter — with people praising the queer aspects of the books and Evelyn’s explanations of things like bisexuals. I can’t speak on the rep of the queer elements in this book, at all, but from what I’ve gauged it is done well. I was expecting there to be a queer romance throughout the book but considering the book is titled Evelyn’s seven husbands I wasn’t sure how it would play out in the book. Would the woman be classed as an eighth marriage? I was shocked (and ecstatic) that the woman is introduced while Evelyn is married to her second husband, meaning it carries through the entire book.
I also like Monique Grant, the writer that Evelyn has commissioned to write her story. We didn’t get much of her perspective, but when we did I loved seeing the growth she went through, from a meek girl who was unafraid to live her life to someone who was fearless. Her struggles are relevant and real, her failed marriage heartbreaking but her story inspiring.
Overall, this book is one I couldn’t put down. I finished it in one day, something I haven’t done in a while due to a slump I’ve been in. The story itself is intense, heartbreaking and contains many triggers for people reading it. I have tried to list all I can but practice self-care while reading this.
I can’t reccomend this book more though. Evelyn Hugo is a story that will live in me for many years and be on my highly recommended books for years.
Happy reading everyone!
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