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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Historical fiction

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo


Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo!

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Quick take

Real-world celebrity gossip pales in comparison to the glamorous life—and loves—of the silver screen star Evelyn Hugo.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_80s


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_WellKnownAuthor

    Famous author

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_ForbiddenLove

    Forbidden love


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, 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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Why I love it

On an average day, I don’t really care what’s going on with, say, Brangelina or Kimye, but, if it’s a slow work day, or I’m on vacation, or at the airport, or it’s Saturday, or Twitter hit me with just the right clickbait: I might. On a scale of "Who’s-Selena-Gomez" to "TMZ-Should-Employ-Me," I’m somewhere around "I’ll-Definitely-Binge-Watch-True-Hollywood-Story-When-Hungover."

Here’s the point: Celeb culture isn’t my main thing, so this book isn’t my usual read, but I’m so glad it caught my attention. This fictional celebrity gossip account reads like the real deal, and breathes life into a type of behind-the-scenes story of a Hollywood "It Girl" we mortals may never otherwise have access to.

Evelyn Hugo, née Herrera, is an Elizabeth Taylor-esque starlet. When we meet her, she’s an Oscar-winning former screen queen who’s now 79, six times divorced, and widowed from her seventh marriage. Her adult daughter recently passed away from breast cancer and everyone else who was close to her is gone, so she’s ready to write, or at least narrate, a take-no-prisoners tell-all to set her own record straight. Evelyn seeks out a young, unknown writer named Monique, and gives her the biggest scoop she could imagine.

Evelyn is a force of nature, from her arrival in Hollywood, through backlashes for her career choices, to her relationship with the paparazzi (at times hilarious), and of course all those marriages. Evelyn was mean, she was calculating, she used people. She was also passionate, ambitious, sexy, and sensual. How she got to the top may make her seem unlikable, but the essential parts of her she’s had to hide to get there undercut much of what villainizes her. She’s the perfect "unlikable yet likable" character.

The questions of "Why choose Monique?" and "Why tell her story now?" and "Why dredge up the past?" are slowly revealed throughout the narrative, as we learn about both the glamour and heartache from Evelyn’s salad days. Each marriage is more than meets the eye, and, amazingly, they’re never dull. I would think by marriage four or five I’d be over it, but what motivates Evelyn is ultimately a lifelong love so passionate that it’s sure to surprise her adoring fans (and readers as well!).

Whether you end up liking Evelyn or not, or think she could’ve done it all another way, her story is addictive. Forget your magazines and Twitter updates—this is the breathtaking historical fiction, celeb gossip beach read you’ve been looking for.

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Member ratings (86,346)

  • Danielle B.

    Fort Collins, CO

    I could not put this down! I fell absolutely in love with the characters, especially the mysterious and beautiful Evelyn Hugo. My mouth literally dropped in the ending. This is a favorite ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️!

  • Kaeli H.

    Agawam, MA

    Historical Fiction • Celeb Drama • Romantic Suspense • Twists & Turns • Juicy AF • Mock- Marilyn Monroe • Hollywood Glitz & Glamor • Fem Grit • Fully Realized/Personal Characters • Multiple Viewpoints

  • Amanda O.

    Boise, ID

    As a huge fan of vintage Hollywood I went into the book knowing I would like it, not realizing I would fall in love with the female lead & complicated issues that haunted her. Read now! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Jessica M.

    Las Vegas, NV

    I typically read murder/mystery books and this is the second book I’ve read by this author and I’m blown away. I love being taken into a journey and feeling apart of that characters life. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Marquella C.

    Killeen, TX

    Loved loved loved this book! It’s so raw and beautiful and unapologetic. It screams “Women empowerment”! It screams “Perseverance” ! It screams I AM ME and I don’t give a damn if you don’t like it!