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Published by Atria Books, Simon Audio on June 13th 2017
Narrator: Alma Cuervo, Julia Whelan, Robin Miles
Genres: Romance, Womens Fiction
Purchase links: Amazon, iTunes, Audible
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Source: Atria, NetGalley, Simon & Schuster, Simon & Schuster Audio
From Taylor Jenkins Reid 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.
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.
Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, 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.
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
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Book & Audiobook Review: 5+++ Stars
I can’t even with the awesomeness of this book. Oh. My. God. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is magnificent. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing is flawless, accompanied with a marvelous narration of Alma Cuervo, Julia Whelan, Robin Miles, they made Evelyn Hugo and Monique Grant’s stories really, really amazing. I don’t have words to describe it, and I don’t really know how to write this review without giving spoilers, because Oh. My. God. Everything would be a spoiler. Everything. But I think a Top 10 will do it very well and maybe you’ll be really intrigued and curious about this book and go read it, and please listen to it, right after you finish reading my review. So, here I go…
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo Top 10
10. The husbands
Right when I started reading/listening to this book I thought of Elizabeth Taylor.
I don’t know much about Elizabeth Taylor’s life but once I continued reading, Elizabeth left my mind and there was only Evelyn Hugo. They were all means to an ends. At the beginning, getting married for Evelyn was to get the fame she craved so fiercely, but later they were for a much meaningful reason—that I can’t mention in my review because HUGE SPOILER, but I can say that I understand, especially for the timeline of Evelyn Hugo’s life. In the present, that all could have been avoided, well, mostly, but really, life in the 50’s and 60’s was really archaic and frustrating, not only for women but also for men.
My favorite of all Evelyn’s husbands was Harry. He was the most amazing man in her life.
9. Hollywood life
I’ve been attracted to Hollywood stars all my life. I’ve got obsessed with a lot of them which means I’ve followed their life like a hawk and I’ve defended them, talk with such knowledge about their lives and all, and with every book I read about celebrities I feel like everything is a HUGE LIE in their lives. Or at least what media say about them. Evelyn Hugo’s public life was a big lie, and she kept lying until the moment she decided to give her true story to Monique before she died. She lied to get what she wanted, she manipulated people to get her stardom and to keep it and sadly those lies costed her so much, broke her heart so many times and hurt so many people, but they all were her choice and despite she regretted some of them, she also felt proud for most of them too, because that’s the life she wanted the most.
8. The authorized biography
Evelyn was ruthless on the way she told Monique her story, her truth. In the end of the book, Monique asked herself if maybe Evelyn was too hard on herself for the regrets and losses, but the truth is that Evelyn had nothing to loss at the moment of the interviews with Monique, so I feel like Evelyn’s truth was the whole truth.
7. The reason why Monique was the only one who could write the authorized biography
It’s shocking and heartbreaking. I can’t say more because SPOILERS.
6. Learning to get what you want from the best
Monique not only got the deal of her professional life out of writing Evelyn’s authorized biography, but also learnt a few tricks for life, especially about how to deal with her failed marriage and her mean boss.
5. The love and acceptance of family and true friends
Evelyn had two constants in her life, they became best friends to her when she was a starlet and later family. Their love was endless and beautiful and they accepted each other with all their ups and downs. Sadly there were heartbreaks on the way and they lost so many precious time because their pride and insecurities but in the end they found their way back together and finally had what they wanted the most.
4. The meaning of soulmates
It was around that time that I started to believe that friendships could be written in the stars. “If there are all different types of soul mates,” I told Harry one afternoon, when the two of us were sitting out on the patio with Connor, “then you are one of mine.”
Harry held Connor to his chest with one hand and grabbed my free hand with the other. “I am absolutely positive that I need you more than I’ve ever needed another living soul,” he said.
3. The meaning of intimacy
People think that intimacy is about sex.
But intimacy is about truth.
When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is “You’re safe with me.” That’s intimacy.
2. The narrations from Alma Cuervo, Julia Whelan, Robin Miles
They were absolutely flawless. The performances were complete, the pace, the inflexions, the pronunciations and accents. All of them were perfect. I loved the most Alma Cuervo with her elegant voice that made me love Evelyn Hugo so much.
1. Evelyn Hugo
A Hollywood star who created herself and went for everything she ever wanted and got it all. This book made me fall in love with her, with all her strengths and flaws. I cried with her, laughed with her and loved with her. Not all the books I read got to tell the whole story of a character and this one did it and I couldn’t help to cry even more in the end of this book.
Now you know all the reasons why I loved this book and audiobook so much, now I recommend you to go and read it, and better yet, listen to it. You’ll love the beautiful writing and the amazing story of Evelyn Hugo.