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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Original photo by Millie Dean
Culture > Entertainment

My review of “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

I finally did it! After the hit book The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has been out for months and months, I finally went to my local Target and picked up a copy. And let me say, I now understand the hype. If you haven’t read it yet, this is your sign to get it and read it! This is also your sign to stop reading this article because there are *spoilers* ahead!

ONLY CONTINUE READING IF YOU’VE READ THE BOOK

Where do I even begin? I went into reading this book with zero context and absolutely no idea what it was about aside from the title and reading the little excerpt.

I was quickly intrigued by the format the book followed and how it started with introducing journalist Monique Grant. As someone who enjoys writing (clearly, otherwise, this article wouldn’t exist), I was interested in what Monique did and where she worked. As the story continues, Monique is contacted by Evelyn Hugo, a huge movie star who no one knows much about other than the fact she was married seven times to seven different men. As the readers are, Monique is surprised that Evelyn wanted her of all people to write what Evelyn said would be a feature story on a gala Evelyn donated a ton of her movie star dresses to.

Monique finally meets with Evelyn and is quickly thrown a curveball when Evelyn tells her she wants Monique to write Evelyn’s full biography. Evelyn gives her little to no details, only telling Monique that she wants her to write Evelyn’s life story.

The reader is just as confused as Monique and wants clarification. Why does Evelyn want Monique to write her life story? Why Monique? What will it entail? What will Evelyn gain from this?

These questions stick with us throughout the book and are slowly answered through each passing chapter. After thinking about it, Monique agrees to Evelyn’s deal and begins going to her house every day to meet with her and listen to her story.

This is when the book switches from Monique’s perspective to Evelyn’s. The pages are written as if Evelyn is telling her story to the reader. And it is absolutely enticing.

We learn about Evelyn’s start of stardom and how she makes her way out of Hell’s Kitchen to Hollywood by losing her virginity and marrying a man to get her out. She began auditioning for movies and started finding success when producer Harry Cameron discovered her. Once this happened, she divorced her first husband, who she never loved. While on set, she meets Don Adler, who she co-stars in movies with and falls in love with. Love quickly turns to hate when Don begins hitting Evelyn and ends up being someone different than who she thought he was. The two are careful about their marriage and eventually divorce. At this time, Evelyn also starts becoming friends with Celia St. James, another rising movie star like herself. Evelyn learns that Celia is a lesbian, and quickly catches feelings for her. The two are in love and Celia marries Mick Rivera as a sham to cover up their relationship which doesn’t last and then marries Rex North as part of a business deal that also doesn’t last. Celia and Evelyn break up because Evelyn is unwilling to display their relationship publicly and she breaks Celia’s trust. Then, Evelyn marries Harry Cameron who has become her best friend as a front because they are both gay. While this happens, Celia is secretly with Evelyn, and Celia’s husband is secretly with Harry while the four live together in New York City. Evelyn breaks Celia’s trust again, and ends up marrying Max Girard, a director of a previous film she was in who she thought valued her, but really valued her only as a movie star. Evelyn ends up reconnecting with Celia and leaves Max for her. Harry and Evelyn have a baby together, Connor, and then Harry is killed in a drunk driving accident with a new lover of his since his previous lover died. After this, Evelyn comes clean to her daughter and moves to Spain to be with Celia. Celia gets sick and Evelyn marries Celia’s brother to keep their relationship close. Celia passes away and Evelyn and Connor return to New York. In her 30s, Connor passes away from breast cancer leaving Evelyn alone at last, where she completely tells her life story to Monique, and then kills herself using pills, knowing breast cancer would kill her otherwise.

At the end of the book, we find out that Harry’s most recent lover, who died in a car accident with him, was Monique’s father. This is completely shocking and was the unexpected twist in the book connecting Monique to Evelyn.

All throughout the book, Monique is also struggling with her relationship with her husband David who she decides to divorce at the end of the novel.

This book covered powerful themes of sexuality, good vs evil, death, love, power and so many more. One of my favorite themes was about marriage, divorce and heartbreak. This book showed me that through Evelyn’s seven marriages and Monique’s divorce, it doesn’t mean that marriage isn’t sacred, but in some cases, it’s not. And heartbreak and divorce can be two different entities. An overarching theme I loved from this book is that love can take many different forms. Love can be love without passion, love with passion, platonic love, mother-child love and so many different forms. A quote I believe represents several of this book’s themes is as follows:

“It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly” -Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

Millie Dean

Illinois State '23

HI! My name is Millie and I love writing for Her Campus! I'm a senior at Illinois State University studying Public Relations and minoring in Graphic Design. My other interests include art, embroidery, thrifting, and photography. I love to be able to be creative in my interests and in my articles on Her Campus. Follow me on Instagram! @milliedean5