The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
“I’m not a good person, Monique. Make sure, in the book, that that’s clear. That I’m not claiming to be good. That I did a lot of things that hurt a lot of people, and I would do them over again if I had to.”
“I don’t know,” I say. “You don’t seem so bad, Evelyn.”
“You, of all people, are going to change your mind about that,” she says. “Very soon.”
Taylor Jenkins Reid is a popular, current author most likely known for her novel Daisy Jones & the Six that took the literary fiction world by storm in 2019. I never read it but for over a year it was impossible to enter a bookstore without noticing it front and center. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo came onto the scene as a little bit of an underdog. It was actually published in 2017 but it wasn’t until the end of 2021 that it became so popular that it was all anyone could talk about. I had heard a lot of praise for The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo before picking it up, which usually means that I am starting the book with higher expectations and end up actually liking it less. However, once in a while a book exceeds the high expectations I have set, and this was one of those books.
To help you understand the premise of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo let me first explain to you who Evelyn Hugo is. Evelyn Hugo was a world-renowned Hollywood actress from the 50s to the 80s. She had a career similar to that of Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe. She was in a number of award winning films and was nominated for an Academy Award multiple times. There’s also the small fact that she was married to seven different men. The only unfortunate part about this story is that she is fictional because I would have absolutely read a 500 page biography about her whole life. From the beginning of the book you get the impression that when it came to her career she is definitely the type of person who got what she wanted when she wanted it. And all of these husbands were a big part of that. Each one she married, not necessarily because she loved them(although a few she did), but because she knew she could get something out of marrying them. Whether it be a trip out of her hometown to Hollywood, or to give the media something to talk about; she used people to progress her career and she wasn’t afraid to admit it.
This book starts from the perspective of a no-name journalist, Monique, in 2017, she gets called into her boss’s office to be informed that Evelyn Hugo asked to do an article with her specifically. Evelyn refused to do it with any other journalist at the company. The two women work together as the book progresses and Monique brings an added perspective to all that Evelyn has done in her life; asking the need-to-know questions that the reader desperately wants to ask through the pages.
I read this book in mid-January and I am already confident that it will be my favorite book of 2022. I believe that every woman should read it because of the new look on feminism that it brings. During Evelyn’s time, feminism was not really a thing that was discussed, so instead she made it her own. She implemented it into every decision she made and every step in her career that she took. She was a feminist in a way that most wouldn’t begin to understand, but I hope you take the time to read her story and agree with me that Evelyn Hugo was a feminist through and through.