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Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo: A Review

My Thoughts Warning: Spoilers

By Jessica BuggPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
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Warning: Spoiler Alerts

Alright dear readers, how’s that for a less than creative opening?

After seeing everyone and their mother; including but not limited to, literary agents, recommending the book Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reed (who I am uncertain if that is the author’s government name or a pen name) I finally broke down and read it myself.

When I say read, I mean listened to the audiobook. I’m kinda on an audiobook phase right now for any material outside of core reference materials.

I’m going to include a link below for some free audible. They are running promotions right now where you can get discounts on your audible membership through the link. So there’s that legal disclaimer. Plus you can save some dollars. And who doesn’t need that right now?

The title alone had me. No one loves men more than me. And while I have not been married seven times, I have had a lot of long term paramours. So I was down to find out if Evelyn Hugo’s life paralleled my own.

Spoiler: Not really.

Who WAS Evelyn Hugo?

Evelyn Hugo is not a real person. Although the book reads much like a biography. If you did not know Evelyn Hugo was not a real person, you would have no reason to believe otherwise. It’s that good.

How do I know? I did what any serious researcher does . . . I googled it.

Evelyn Hugo while not a real person, is said to be based on the life (loosely) of Elizabeth Taylor. Who also had a long Hollywood career, a string of marriages, and was friends with Michael Jackson.

The MJ reference is irrelevant to the Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but I figured I would throw that in there.

The story of Evelyn is told through a framed narrative where an aspiring writer who has landed her first gig at a prestigious publisher, is selected to write the story of Evelyn’s charity fundraiser.

Just to level with you, the narrator’s story was boring AF to me. She keeps talking about her divorce/separation, being dedicated to being a writer. But it’s boring. Evelyn is definitely the more interesting charater here.

Evelyn is like any other documented Hollywood success story. Came from a modest background in Hell’s Kitchen, had an abusive father, hopped on the first cock that came along that would take her to LA to become famous.

That is husband number one. Who, for all intents and purposes, actually sounded like a good dude.

He took Evelyn up out the hood and because he worked on sets for Hollywood producers, was able to get her to LA.

Oh, did I mention that Evelyn is extremely gorgeous with huge boobs? I feel like I should, because it’s a main theme in the book, or is it a trope? Who knows? She talks about her boobs a lot though, so I would be amiss from the author’s original vision to not mention Evelyn’s titties.

But Why Be A Housewife When You Can Be A Star?

So, our star has finally made it to LA by virtue of marriage. And begins to hang out at the local restaurant where the Hollywood movers and shakers could see and be seen.

Evelyn takes a job as a server but as you can imagine, it doesn’t last long. She is soon discovered and on her way to stardom.

Soon, the same hubby, who loved Evelyn and took her out of the gutter, no longer has the same appeal.


Because his purpose was served.

That is one of the prevailing themes throughout the novel. Evelyn knew she was hot and that men wanted to sleep with her. And that queen used it to her advantage everytime.

I applaud. Go ahead sis.

We will follow Evelyn through several marriages as you can guess by the title but there are a few twists and turns.

WHO was the love of Evelyn Hugo’s Life?


This main question is what the journalist/narrator is trying to answer. With seven total husbands, surely there was a favorite.

But it may be a surprise, that even though Evelyn was married seven times and had her pick of all the men in the world.

The love of her life, was not one of her many husbands. It was rather, a woman.

Evelyn was bisexual and enjoyed sex with both men and a woman. And Evelyn fell head over heels in love with her BFF while working on a movie together.

And the most noteworthy themes covered how Evelyn used marriage to men and her role as a sex icon during the Hollywood golden age to cover/suppress/hide from her love of this woman. And how it hurt the one she loved the most.

My Thoughts

I think this book gets into the rawness of sexuality and the complexity of love. I think we have been indoctrinated and/or conditioned to think about queer love or even straight love as a black and white issue.

I find the more I experience, the more I live, that love and sex can never be one dimensional. I would like to think we have made progress as a society to be more accepting and more open to all versions of love and family; although we all know we have a very long way to go.

I would be interested to see the thoughts of more hetero-normative readers particularly those who are in more conservative environments as to how they handled the revelation that even though the book is Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, the main love story focuses on the lifelong love she had for another woman.

I love that this book did not trivialize that and also addressed the emotions of the men in her life when they found out about Evelyn’s bisexuality. Some were accepting and others, not so much. To the point, that one even threatened to blackball Evelyn from Hollywood when he was rejected in favor of a woman.

Another interesting talking point, is the members of the queer community that Evelyn finds who also have what I call, Window Dressing Marriages. Or in today’s terms, Instagram marriages. I have had many friends and acquaintances who are not heterosexual but maintain a heteronormative marriage just for appearances.

Most of the time, these window dressing marriages end up failing but they serve their purpose of protection while they last. Whether the protection is for their job, their church, or their family.

And I think that is an underserved topic in literature. It was refreshing to see the author tackle this, as I feel, many can relate.

Would I Recommend Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo?

Absolutely. The book definitely lived up to the hype it was given. And it takes a lot for me to love a book lately but I could not put this one down or in my audiobook case, turn this one off. I completed it in under three days. It was that good.

So readers, let me know what you think if you have read it.

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    Jessica BuggWritten by Jessica Bugg

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