Society has long been obsessed with the lives and scandals of Hollywood and its stars.
You only have the look at the popularity of the Kardashians, the ultimate example of those who are famous for being famous, to know it’s as true today as it was at the beginning of Cinema.
The rise of the internet and instant news has made Old Hollywood “faked” relationships harder to pull off. Still, the public’s insatiable need to consume and devour anything and everything about their idols has been around since the Golden Age of Cinema starting back in the late 1920s.
A New York Times Best Seller, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo follows a fictitious bombshell of a movie star through those different worlds of Hollywood from the Fifties to the Eighties, and the husbands she gathered along the way.
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I confirm here she IS fictitious because author Taylor Jenkins Reid did such a good job in building the character of Evelyn Hugo that one of the most asked questions about the book is “Is Evelyn Hugo real?”. Sadly, no, but it is so easy to believe she is (and really, to wish she was).
Though she herself isn’t real, the influences of icons like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor are plain to see.
The book almost feels like an imagining of where they might have ended if they had continued their careers into their old age, transitioning from the young ingenue to the sexy siren to something else entirely.
So few actresses in real life are ever able to hang on to popularity that long that it is endlessly captivating to read about one who has (imagined or not).
As with other Taylor Jenkin Reids novels, her writing is first-rate and highly readable. What feels like a story that might be straightforward in its telling is anything but due to her expert craftsmanship in laying out the plot, characters, and keeping you engaged.
You know there is a secret to be revealed and even still, you are smacked down at the end with what it is.
I don’t want to spoil the ending here for those who want to read this highly worthwhile book. I will just say though that having read a ton of books that work hard to make you care about their ending only to squander it on something cliche, this book is not that.
It’s a satisfying and highly enjoyable read from beginning to end, though not without its sad and poignant moments. Its strongest message is how pointless it is to live for anyone other than yourself, and that’s a message I can support.
I strongly recommend you read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and see for yourself!