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 is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.
Ahh! Where do I start talking about this book? Intense, dramatic, scandalous are just some of the many things that make up this book’s plot.
The story’s protagonist is Monique Grant, a journalist, who has been asked to interview Evelyn Hugo by Evelyn herself. A major proportion of the story, however, is from the perspective of Evelyn and takes place in flashbacks. Evelyn retraces her journey from when she was 14 years old and married a guy to escape from her abusive father; to her struggle to get into Hollywood; to her desire for both fame and love.
As soon as you hear the title, you immediately judge Evelyn Hugo for having the tag of Seven Husbands. You try to reason or decode the story, but that is far from what the author has planned to present to you.
Evelyn Hugo at first appears to be wrong and selfish. But then by saying, “Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box,” she shuts the reader up. You are bound to stop judging her and listen to her story with an open mind.
The power of the story lies in its exceptional storytelling, its hard-hitting dialogues, and its complex human behaviour. Humans are not meant to fit into a box. We are not that simple. Our mind and our heart are complex things and that is what the author beautifully brings up in the story.
You must have, at some point, found yourselves wondering: what does love mean? Is it intimacy, loyalty, or trust? Well, whatever it means, this book will certainly change your perception of it.
As the story progresses, you realize that it is not about the husbands. It is not about multiple marriages. It is not even about Evelyn Hugo. This story is just an ode to love and friendship. It challenges your idea of marriage and divorce, romance and intimacy, power and fame, death and loss, regret and guilt.
In the end, the underlying question is: What would you do if were to choose between your love or fame? At any point, would you regret your decision to choose one thing over the other?
If you like romance, hollywood, drama, emotional, historical fiction, women’s fiction, or lgbtq+ fiction, this book is a must read for you.