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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Narrated by Alma Cuervo, Julia Whelan, Robin Miles

Unabridged — 12 hours, 10 minutes

Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Overview

From Taylor Jenkins Reid, "a genius when it comes to stories about life and love" (Redbook), comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress's relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

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 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—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.

Written with Reid's signature talent for "creating complex, likable characters" (Real Simple), this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.


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Editorial Reviews

Globe and Mail

A cinematic tale with hardscrabble roots, staggering highs and sickening lows. The novel reads like a celebrity tell-all, and this makes it delicious. But it's also got heft, because Hugo's story is one of overcoming adversity, racism and sexism to get to the top. She fails, falls, triumphs and learns difficult lessons about the things that really matter. With this riveting novel, Reid has created an exceptional character with the wherewithal to take on the patriarchy.

Redbook

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the queen of queens when it comes to beach reads, and this breathtaking treat proves once again the throne is hers alone.

People

"A novel of Old Hollywood that's simultaneously gossipy and poignant. Look no further for the glamour, ambition and shocking secrets your beach-blanket sessions demand."

Booklist

"Reid knows how to tug at heart strings with unusual tales of finding real and lasting love...the reader [will be] captivated by old Hollywood glamour, intriguing and complex characters, and Reid’s unsurpassed ability to leave her audience reaching for a hankie. An utterly unique take on what truly makes a family.

Working Mother

Leave it to Taylor Jenkins Reid to keep readers captivated, from the first page to the last. With a parade of lovable characters and unputdownable plot, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo should top every reading list this summer.

Anne Helen Petersen

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is the total package: the very best of Classic Hollywood intrigue, a delicious twist, and incisive commentary on the wages of stardom, especially for women.

Fiona Davis

"A glamorous romp through Hollywood in its heyday, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest offers up several unexpected twists and a dazzling, ambitious movie star who will break your heart."

PopSugar

The epic adventures Evelyn creates over the course of a lifetime will leave every female reader mesmerized. This wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet and her tumultuous Tinseltown journey comes with unexpected twists and the most satisfying of drama.

Today.com

Anyone who appreciates old Hollywood glamour will want to check this one out.

Real Simple

"Reid’s characters will enchant readers as they travel through the glitz and glamour of Old Hollywood and the truths they both must confront."

SheKnows

"Addictive, dazzling and bound to leave you in tears (classic Taylor Jenkins Reid), The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo should be your No. 1 reading priority this summer."

starred review Shelf Awareness

“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is more than escapism fiction sweeping its audience back to an era when show biz glamour danced with real-life intrigue, romantic entanglements and perceived impropriety. With memorable characters rivaling any Hollywood blockbuster, Taylor Jenkins Reid marries themes of loyalty, betrayal, friendship and love into a soaring, fast-paced and gripping performance. It leaves readers asking if they are merely role-playing with those they love or being true to an authentic self.

Buzzfeed

Praise for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo:

“Riveting, heart-wrenching, and full of Old Hollywood glamour, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is one of the most captivating reads of 2017.

Associated Press

"[The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo] is fascinating, emotional and will be hard to put down. For fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid, this is her best work yet."

Historical Novel Society

"A big, juicy read...Reid expertly captures the hothouse nature of Hollywood...the story is fresh, and the end reveal is worth the wait

Brit & Co.

"This sweeping tale is about an aging Hollywood starlet and the rookie magazine reporter she hires to pen her breathtaking (and scandalous) life story. Trust us: You’ll be swooning over the twist for months."

Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

"Evelyn Hugo makes Liz Taylor seem pedestrian. Taylor Jenkins Reid has drawn a rich, emotionally complex heroine who is so real that you'll forget she only lives in the pages of a book. This is an utterly compelling dance with love and tragedy, sometimes both at once; you'll laugh with Evelyn, cry with her, ache with her, and then go back to page one and do it all over again."

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has big, juicy secrets at its heart— not just about the surprising identity of movie star Evelyn Hugo's true love, but of the lengths she has gone to protect that mysterious lover. Brimming with heartache, betrayal, and a lifetime of Hollywood gossip, this raucous novel will seduce you even as it leaves you wanting more."

Jamie Blynn

"In her latest mesmerizing tale, Reid transports readers back to Hollywood’s heyday with a heroine in the likes of — but more intriguing than — Elizabeth Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Katherine Hepburn. Yes, Evelyn Hugo is the glamorous idol you admire, but she’s also the relentless fighter you aspire to be. Her life’s story is heartbreaking, yet beautiful and will keep readers captivated until the very last page."

Emily Giffin

"A spellbinding novel about love, glamour and the price of fame."

Bustle

If you're looking for a book to take on holiday this summer, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has got all the glitz and glamour to make it a perfect beach read — as long as you're prepared to cry off all your sunscreen, because this book gets *emotional*. Each of Evelyn's marriages comes with its own hurt and heartbreak, from infidelity and betrayal to domestic abuse. But running throughout Evelyn's tumultuous life is one great love that will leave you sobbing into the pages.

Cosmopolitan

Come for the glam old Hollywood vibes; stay for a touching tale of a young reporter and a silver-screen legend.

Us Weekly

"In her mesmerizing tale, Taylor Jenkins Reid explores Hollywood’s heyday with a heroine akin to Elizabeth Taylor. Movie icon Evelyn Hugo, now a recluse at 79, unfurls the story of her glamorous life and her scandalous seven marriages."

Booklist

"Reid knows how to tug at heart strings with unusual tales of finding real and lasting love...the reader [will be] captivated by old Hollywood glamour, intriguing and complex characters, and Reid’s unsurpassed ability to leave her audience reaching for a hankie. An utterly unique take on what truly makes a family.

Working Mother

Leave it to Taylor Jenkins Reid to keep readers captivated, from the first page to the last. With a parade of lovable characters and unputdownable plot, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo should top every reading list this summer.

Cosmopolitan

Come for the glam old Hollywood vibes; stay for a touching tale of a young reporter and a silver-screen legend.

Associated Press Staff

"[The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo] is fascinating, emotional and will be hard to put down. For fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid, this is her best work yet."

Sunset Magazine

"Dripping with drama and tension, we’re beyond obsessed with this delicious read.

Examiner.com

The writing is evocative. and the first person narrative rings true...Sign me up for the next Taylor Jenkins Reid book, please!

Brit+Co

"If you read this title and thought to yourself, 'Hey wait, isn't that a typo?', Reid's heartwarming tale of a choice between two loves might just convince you otherwise."

BookRiot

"Reid does such a good job of leading us through Emma’s emotional journey – I was as ambivalent as she was for a while, and then really invested in the ending. There’s some pretty deep truths in this, too.

The Reading Room

"If you feel emotionally connected to Adele’s music, read One True Loves.

InStyle

"A breathtaking love story."

From the Publisher

Praise for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo:

Library Journal

04/01/2017
Adored movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell her story, and does she have a story to tell. Born to Cuban immigrants in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, Evelyn remade herself into a classic Hollywood beauty, marrying seven men along the way. First there was Eddie, the man who brought her to Los Angeles; then there was Don, an abuser; then Mick; and then Rex—but everyone knows that the true love of her life was Harry Cameron, who had been with her through thick and thin. But as Monique, her biographer, uncovers more of her past, she finds that the heart of Evelyn's love life doesn't involve men at all. Willing to use her looks and her body to advance her career, Evelyn may know that some of her actions were wrong, but she doesn't feel any guilt for her past. VERDICT Jenkins (One True Loves) has crafted another tale sure to appeal to fans of women's fiction, Susan Meissner, and Beatriz Williams.—Jennifer Mills, Shorewood-Troy Lib., IL

Kirkus Reviews

2017-04-04
An aging starlet with seven marriages behind her generously offers the rights to her memoir to an inexperienced writer—at a heartbreaking cost.Monique Grant is stunned when Hollywood legend Evelyn Hugo grants an exclusive interview to her over more seasoned journalists, but when she's also chosen to publish Evelyn's final confessions after her death, she learns that the 79-year-old actress has enough life experience for them both. Growing up poor in Hell's Kitchen, young Evelyn Herrera trades her virginity for a ride to Hollywood, changes her name, and climbs the rungs of the entertainment-industry ladder one husband at a time until she hits Oscar gold. To write her off as being calculating and fickle would leave out the difficulty of being a woman, especially a woman of color, trying to get by in the late 1950s without a man's blessing. Evelyn plays up her bombshell figure and hides her Cuban roots by dying her hair blonde—the first of many lies she'll have to tell over the course of her life to prove to the world that she deserves her place in the spotlight. She's unapologetically ambitious but not without remorse. Which of her seven husbands was her true love? Why did she choose Monique to tell her story? Evelyn recounts her failures and triumphs in chronological order, one husband at a time, with a few breaks for Monique to report back to her editor. The celebrity tell-all style is a departure from Reid's (One True Loves, 2016, etc.) previous books, but Evelyn Hugo is a character who can demand top billing. When asked if it bothers her that "all anyone talks about when they talk about you are the seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo," she says no: "Because they are just husbands. I am Evelyn Hugo." Reid's heroine reveals her darkest secrets as if she were wiping off makeup at the end of the night—a celebration of human frailty that speaks to the Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor in us all.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940170625024
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 03/07/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1 THESPILL.COM
Evelyn Hugo’s Coming Clean

BY JULIA SANTOS

MARCH 4, 2017

Word on the street is siren/LIVING LEGEND/world’s most beautiful blonde Evelyn Hugo is auctioning off gowns and agreeing to an interview, which she has not done in multiple decades.

PLEASE tell me she is finally ready to talk about all those damn husbands. (I can understand four, maybe even five, six if you are really pushing it, but seven? Seven husbands? Not to mention the fact that we all know she was having an affair with Congressman Jack Easton in the early ’80s. Girl. Got. A. Round.)

If she won’t come clean about the husbands, let’s pray she at least goes on the record about how she got those eyebrows. I mean, SHARE THE WEALTH, EVELYN.

When you see pictures of E back in the day with her brassy blond hair, those dark, straight-as-an-arrow eyebrows, that deep-tanned skin, and those golden-brown eyes, you have no choice but to stop what you are doing and stare right at her.

And don’t even get me started on that body.

No ass, no hips—just huge boobs on a slim frame.

I have basically been working my entire adult life for a body like that. (Note: Am very far away. Might be the spaghetti bucatini I’ve been eating for lunch every day this week.)

Here is the only part that has me heated: Evelyn could have chosen anyone for this. (Ahem, me?) But instead she chose some newbie at Vivant? She could have had anyone. (Ahem, me?) Why this Monique Grant chick (and not me)?

Ugh, fine. I’m just bitter it’s not me.

I should really get a job at Vivant. They get all the good stuff.

COMMENTS:

  • Hihello565 says: Even people at Vivant don’t want to work at Vivant anymore. Corporate overlords producing censored advertiser courting bullshit.
  • Ppppppppppps reply to Hihello565: Yeah, OK. Something tells me if the most well-respected, sophisticated magazine in the country offered you a job, you’d take it.
  • EChristine999 says: Didn’t Evelyn’s daughter die of cancer recently? I feel like I read something recently about that. So heartbreaking. BTW, that picture of Evelyn at Harry Cameron’s grave? Basically ruined me for months. Beautiful family. So sad that she lost them.
  • MrsJeanineGrambs says: I do not care about Evelyn Hugo AT ALL. STOP WRITING ABOUT THESE PEOPLE. Her marriages, affairs, and most of her movies just go to prove one thing: Slut. Three A.M. was a disgrace to women. Focus your attention on people that deserve it.
  • SexyLexi89 says: Evelyn Hugo is maybe the most beautiful woman of all time. That shot in Boute-en-Train where she’s coming out of the water naked and the camera cuts to black right before you see her nipples? So good.
  • PennyDriverKLM says: All hail Evelyn Hugo for making blond hair and dark eyebrows THE LOOK. Evelyn, I salute you.
  • YuppiePigs3 says: Too skinny! Not for me.
  • EvelynHugoIsASaint says: This is a woman who has donated MILLIONS OF DOLLARS to charities for battered women’s organizations and LGBTQ+ interests, and now she’s auctioning off gowns for cancer research and all you can talk about is her eyebrow game? Seriously?
  • JuliaSantos@TheSpill reply to EvelynHugoIsASaint: This is a fair point, I guess. SORRY. In my defense, she started making millions by being a badass business bitch back in the ’60s. And she would never have had the clout to do that without her talent and beauty, and she never would have been as beautiful without DEM BROWS. But OK, fair point.
  • EvelynHugoIsASaint reply to JuliaSantos@TheSpill: Ugh. Sorry for being so bitchy. I skipped lunch. Mea culpa. For what it’s worth, Vivant won’t do half as well with this story as you would have. Evelyn should have chosen you.
  • JuliaSantos@TheSpill reply to EvelynHugoIsASaint: Right????? Who is Monique Grant anyway? BORING. I’m coming for her...

Customer Reviews