The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: A Review 


(Credit: The Bibliophile)

If you’ve been to Enrichment in the past few weeks, there’s a high chance you’ve seen someone reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. The book has been read by many in the Montrose community with many loving it and recommending it to others.

This book starts off with Monique, an aspiring young writer in New York, getting the assignment to write an article about famous actress, Evelyn Hugo. Evelyn Hugo is an actress who was famous in the 50s and is notoriously known for having seven husbands, many of whom she divorced very quickly. Monique is told she will be writing an article about how Evelyn is selling many of her dresses for a charity in honor of her daughter, who got breast cancer and sadly died.

Evelyn, however, has different ideas and is planning on making Monique write a biography which will be published after the actress dies. The book will tell all about Evelyn’s life, from whom she loved most, to the behind the scenes of her relationship, to how her close friend Celia St. James impacted her life. 

Evelyn describes each of the husbands to Monique, what happened during each marriage, and how she truly felt about each husband. She even divulges whether she actually liked the husband or if she just dated him for fame and status. Starting with her first husband, she went through each of them: Ernie Diaz, Don Adler, Mick Riva, Rex North, Harry Cameron, Max Girad, and Robert Jamison; she told the behind the scenes actions that went on during each of these marriages. Evelyn also talks about her only daughter, Connor, who she had with her fifth husband. The only exception to absolutely everything was Connor,” (Reid 250). Evelyn talks about how Connor was the most important person in her life and how she would give up everything before she gave up Connor. 

Evelyn talks about how the world viewed and criticized her relationships and how that influenced the relationships. Evelyn also talks about how many of the men only wanted her for her image because she was the most famous actress of her time. They used her for the fame her name brought because it would boost their status in Hollywood.

Throughout the course of the book, Evelyn talks about how her friend Celia St. James had a lasting impact on her. The two first starred in a movie adaptation of Little Women together, and from then on, the Hollywood world referred to them as best friends and partners in crime. Celia helped to change Evelyn’s viewpoint on the world around her and how it was okay to not want the same things as others. She also had a lasting impact on the way Evelyn saw the fame world. 

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing style dives so in depth, that many times I had to remind myself I was reading a fiction book. Oftentimes throughout the book, I forgot that Evelyn Hugo was actually not a real celebrity. 

If you are looking for a fiction book about fame and fortune and the true secrets of the Hollywood world, I would definitely recommend this book! If you have already read it and are looking for more from Taylor Jenkins Reid, I highly suggest Daisy Jones and the Six and Malibu Rising. Both of these books are from the same time and are behind the scenes of what actually happens in Hollywood. Daisy Jones and the Six is about a band and is written with each band member recounting their story. Malibu Rising focuses on Mick Riva and his kids and how they learned to grow up with little money and become famous because of their hard work.  Novels from Taylor Jenkins Reid often focus on fame and the behind the scenes of what people actually see in fame. Both recommended novels are works of fiction and like The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, while I was reading them, I had to keep reminding myself that it was a fictional universe created by this author. 

Elyse Preston ’25, Opinions Editor